California v. Polk

Defendant-appellant Tanner Polk, an inmate at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, was found in his cell with eight small pieces of cut-up and numbered paper, along with a greeting card. The correctional officer had learned from other prison officers during routine training that a current trend in the prisons was the possession of methamphetamine-infused paper. A preliminary test at the prison revealed the presence of methamphetamine on one piece of paper and on a small corner of the greeting card. The paper was tested at a laboratory, and some of the papers were found to contain methamphetamine; the remainder of the greeting card tested negative. Defendant was found guilty of possession of methamphetamine while in prison. Defendant admitted he had suffered one prior serious or violent felony conviction. Defendant was sentenced to six years in state prison. On appeal, defendant argued: (1) insufficient evidence was presented to support that he possessed a usable amount of methamphetamine and he had knowledge that it was methamphetamine, to support his conviction of violating Penal Code section 4573.6; (2) the correctional officer should not have been allowed to testify as to whether the papers contained a usable amount of narcotics as his testimony was speculative and lacked foundation; (3) the trial court deprived defendant of a right to present a defense by refusing to allow him to properly address the quantity of methamphetamine found on the papers; (4) cumulative errors warrant dismissal; and (5) the trial court erred by denying his Romero motion to dismiss his prior strike conviction. Finding no reversible error, the Court of Appeal affirmed conviction. View "California v. Polk" on Justia Law