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Wilson v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

January 11, 2019

Kimberly Ann WILSON
v.
STATE of Alabama

         Appeal from Madison Circuit Court (CC-17-2482)

Page 335

          Ronald W. Smith, Huntsville, for appellant.

          Steve Marshall, atty. gen., and Kristi O. Wilkerson, asst. atty. gen., for appellee.

         WELCH, Judge.

         Kimberly Ann Wilson appeals her guilty-plea conviction for trafficking in a controlled substance— methamphetamine, see § 13A-12-231, Ala. Code 1975. She was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment and was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine, a $2,000 fine under the Drug Demand Reduction Assessment Act, a $100 fee to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, a $100 crime victims compensation assessment, and various court costs and attorney fees. This appeal followed.

         Facts and Procedural History

         The record indicates that, on April 3, 2016, the Madison-Morgan County Drug Task Force STAC Team received information through a confidential informant that a woman, identified as Wilson, was preparing to deliver a large amount of methamphetamine to Whiplash Customs in Huntsville. The informant was able to show agents a picture of Wilson and told them that she would be driving a gray Infiniti automobile with a Georgia license plate.

         STAC agents surveilled a business known as Whiplash Customs property for approximately three hours before they noticed a vehicle approach the property that matched the description given to them by their informant. After the vehicle parked, agents observed Wilson exit the driver's side of the vehicle with a purse on her shoulder. Wilson then walked to the back of her vehicle, knelt down, and tossed a black case underneath her vehicle.

         The agents then moved in and detained Wilson. When one agent reached under Wilson's vehicle, he found the black case. Wilson denied that the case belonged to her. When law-enforcement officers opened the case, they found a yellow bag inside of which was a duct-taped package. Inside the package were three large bags containing a pink ice-like substance that was determined to be methamphetamine. An analysis of the methamphetamine revealed that it weighed 172 grams or 6 ounces. They also found in Wilson's vehicle two cellular telephones and a notebook containing a ledger.

         After law-enforcement officers read Wilson her Miranda[1] rights, they questioned her about the methamphetamine. During that conversation, Wilson initially stated that she did not know what was in the case and that she had gotten the case from a woman who, she said, had told her to deliver the case to Whiplash Customs. She also stated that she had marijuana in her purse. Wilson later admitted, however, that she knew that there was methamphetamine inside the case.

         On June 21, 2017, Wilson was indicted for trafficking in a controlled substance— methamphetamine, see § 13A-12-231, Ala. Code 1975. On March 2, 2018, Wilson entered a blind guilty plea to that offense. On May 18, 2018, the court sentenced Wilson to 20 years' imprisonment.

         That same day, Wilson filed a motion asking the circuit court to reconsider her sentence. That motion was subsequently denied. Wilson also filed a motion to alter, amend, or vacate the sentencing order but that motion was also denied. Thereafter, Wilson filed a timely notice of appeal.

         Discussion

         I.

         On appeal, Wilson argues, among other things, that the ...


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