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State v. Adams

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

March 17, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
JERRY LEE ADAMS

Argued: November 5, 2014.

On the briefs:

Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., Drake Law, LLC, Auburn, for appellant Jerry Lee Adams.

Janet T. Mills, Attorney General, and Jamie R. Guerrette, Asst. Atty. Gen., Office of the Attorney General, Augusta, for appellee State of Maine.

At oral argument: Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., for appellant Jerry Lee Adams.

Jamie R. Guerrette, Asst. Atty. Gen., for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.[*]

OPINION

Page 584

HJELM, J.

[¶1] Jerry Lee Adams appeals from a judgment convicting him of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs (Class A), 17-A M.R.S. § 1105-A(1)(B) (2014), and refusal to submit to arrest or detention (Class E), 17-A M.R.S. § 751-B(1)(A) (2014), entered in the Superior Court (York County, O'Neil, J.) after a jury trial. Adams argues that the court erred by sustaining the State's objection to questions about the nature of the locale where the crime allegedly occurred. He also argues that the court erred when it denied his motion for a judgment of acquittal. We affirm the judgment.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] The record, when viewed in the light most favorable to the jury's verdict, supports the following facts. See State v. Cruthirds, 2014 ME 86, ¶ 2, 96 A.3d 80. On the night of January 2, 2013, Saco Police Officer Heath Mains stopped a vehicle on Jeannette Avenue in Old Orchard Beach and informed the driver that he would be searching her and the vehicle. Adams was a passenger in the backseat of the car. When Mains returned to his car to call for backup for the search, he saw Adams and a second passenger exit the vehicle. He ordered them back into the car, but Adams fled behind a nearby condominium building. Mains observed that Adams was wearing a large black down jacket, but did not see him holding anything when he fled. Mains stayed with the car until additional officers arrived and then showed them the direction in which Adams ran.

[¶3] One of those officers, Matthew Corbin, went to look for Adams behind the condominium complex and found him crouched against the building. As Corbin approached, Adams ran away from him in the direction of Mains and the stopped vehicle. When Mains saw Adams running with Corbin in pursuit, he tackled Adams, and both officers were able to handcuff Adams after a struggle. At that point, Officer Scott Sicard arrived to help Mains and Corbin. He asked Adams why he ran, and Adams replied that it was because the driver of the vehicle had bail conditions. Corbin also later asked Adams why he ran, and " he said something to the effect it's because I'm black."

[¶4] Another officer, Daniel Beaulieu, conducted a pat-down search of Adams and found a leather pouch, which Beaulieu recognized as the type commonly used to hold a ...


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