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State v. Thelusma

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

March 20, 2015

The State of New Hampshire
v.
Makenzy Thelusma

Argued: January 7, 2015.

Page 1166

Coos.

Joseph A. Foster, attorney general ( Stephen D. Fuller, senior assistant attorney general, on the brief and orally), for the State.

Christopher M. Johnson, chief appellate defender, of Concord, on the brief and orally, for the defendant.

LYNN, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and HICKS, CONBOY, and BASSETT, JJ., concurred.

OPINION

Page 1167

Lynn, J.

Following a jury trial in Superior Court ( Bornstein, J.), the defendant, Makenzy Thelusma, was convicted of possession of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. See RSA 318-B:2, I (Supp. 2014). The defendant appeals, arguing that: (1) an inculpatory statement he made to the police should have been suppressed; and (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his heroin and cocaine convictions. We affirm.

I

The following facts are derived from the record. On August 9, 2012, Sergeant Roy, a Berlin police officer, observed the defendant driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Roy stopped the car and the defendant produced a New York state identification card, but not a driver's license. While Roy was in his cruiser unsuccessfully seeking to determine whether the defendant had a valid driver's license, Officer White arrived to assist. White obtained the defendant's consent to search the vehicle. At that point, two individuals, Nika Wedge and " Chance," approached the scene on foot. The individuals spoke to the defendant and approached his car. Roy told them to " back off." The defendant got out of his car and walked over to the two, saying that he was going to give Wedge his wallet. Roy saw that the defendant

Page 1168

had more than a wallet in his hand, but could not say what else the defendant had. Roy told the defendant to stop, but the defendant and Wedge " made an exchange." Roy then observed that Wedge had a wallet and a " wad" of cash in her hand and that she appeared to be tucking something into her bra. Roy then took custody of Wedge, and pinned her against the defendant's car near the open driver's side window. At this time, White took custody of the defendant. While Roy and White were making these arrests, Chance approached and began yelling and threatening them. Roy used one hand to point his taser at Chance, holding Wedge by her left arm, leaving her right arm free. White performed a quick search of the defendant and put him in his cruiser, and then unsuccessfully attempted to apprehend Chance.

Officer Santos from the Gorham Police Department then arrived to assist Roy and White. Before transporting the defendant to the Berlin police station, Santos searched him and found marijuana. Before transporting Wedge to the station, Roy searched the area where he had held her against the car to see if she had dropped anything. He found nothing. At the station, a female dispatcher watched Wedge undress and also found nothing. After the defendant and Wedge were brought to the station, White performed an inventory search of the car. On the passenger's seat he discovered a small cloth bag that contained heroin and crack cocaine. The bag had not been there earlier when ...


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