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State v. Purvis

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

March 29, 2017

STATE OF LOUISIANA Appellee
v.
DETERRANCE T. PURVIS Appellant

         Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana Lower Court Case No. 333370 Honorable Charles Gordon Tutt, Judge.

          LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT, By: Carey J. Ellis, III, Counsel for Appellant.

          JAMES E. STEWART, SR. District Attorney, Counsel for Appellee.

          JANET L. SILVIE ERICA N. JEFFERSON Assistant District Attorneys.

          Before GARRETT, STONE, and COX, JJ.

          STONE, J.

         The defendant, Deterrance T. Purvis, was convicted by a jury of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, in violation of La. R.S. 40:966(A)(1), and sentenced to 15 years at hard labor. Purvis was also convicted of resisting an officer, in violation of La. R.S. 14:108, and sentenced to six months in parish jail. For the following reasons, Purvis' convictions and sentences are affirmed.

         FACTS

         On July 27, 2015, Caddo Parish Sheriff's officers, in a joint effort with the Shreveport Police Department, were en route to conduct a drug bust at Pinky's, a store located near the intersection of Alabama and Poland Streets. This particular area was targeted because of numerous complaints of drug activity. While approaching Pinky's, officers observed three men standing around an illegally parked Chevrolet Suburban ("Suburban"). After the officers approached the Suburban, one of the men, Purvis, consented to being searched. The search uncovered 14 individual bags of marijuana in Purvis' back pocket. Thereafter, Purvis was arrested.

         Purvis was charged by bill of information with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and felony resisting an officer with force or violence. Purvis subsequently filed a motion to suppress, alleging he was unlawfully stopped and searched and urged the trial court to exclude any evidence concerning the recovered marijuana. After a hearing on the motion, the trial court denied Purvis' request.

         The jury found Purvis guilty of possession with intent to distribute and the lesser responsive charge of misdemeanor resisting an officer. He was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor for possession with intent to distribute and 6 months in a parish jail for resisting an officer. Purvis now appeals.

         DISCUSSION

         Assignment of Error #1

         Purvis argues the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support a verdict of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.[1]According to Purvis, while the state demonstrated he was in possession of marijuana, they failed to show he intended to sell it. He emphasizes that no scales, ...


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