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Dearman v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

April 12, 2019

H. Chase Dearman
v.
State of Alabama

          Appeal from Mobile Circuit Court (CC-17-5331.70)

          KELLUM, JUDGE.

         H. Chase Dearman appeals the circuit court's order finding him in direct contempt, as defined by Rule 33.1(b)(1), Ala. R. Crim. P.

         The record indicates that Dearman represented a defendant at a probation-revocation hearing over which Judge James T. Patterson presided. At the probation-revocation hearing, the State called the defendant's probation officer to testify regarding the allegation that the defendant violated the terms and conditions of his probation by committing a new criminal offense, namely, possession of a controlled substance. During the probation officer's testimony, the following occurred:

"[A]: Prior to -- once I got out of the vehicle, I made contact with [the defendant] who was walking down the street. I asked where he was going. He kind of told me.
"I said, let's go to your home. He took me back to this address, the --- Sullivan Avenue.
"Before entering the home, I confirmed with him that that was his home.
"....
"... During the search, I ended up locating in the kitchen drawer, what was later determined to be a controlled substance.
"Q. Specifically, what was it? "
A. AK-47 Herbal Incense.
"Q. Would that be on the streets known as --
"MR. DEARMAN: I object. This officer has no training in narcotics whatsoever. This is not a regular drug and regularly identifiable.
"And in addition to that, the District Court found no probable cause on this case, the facts of which the Court is now hearing.
"THE COURT: All right.
"MR. DEARMAN: We've had a preliminary hearing.
"THE COURT: 'Alabama Rules of Evidence, Article 11, Miscellaneous Rules, Rule 1101, rules inapplicable. These rules, other than those with respect to privileges, do not apply in the following situations: Preliminary questions of fact, grand jury, miscellaneous proceedings including proceedings for extradition or rendition, preliminary hearing in criminal cases, sentencings, granting and revoking probation.'
"MR. DEARMAN: Judge, in District Court --
"THE COURT: No. They don't apply.
"MR. DEARMAN: May I finish my objection?
"THE COURT: No, you may not. There's no objection here. They don't apply. The rules of evidence ...

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