Denial of Motion for Acquittal Erroneous in Drug Case


In this case, a man was riding in a van. In total, there were five people in the vehicle when it was involved in an accident. All the occupants were taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation. The state trooper who was at the scene of the accident had the van towed away for inspection. During this search, investigators found numerous bags of the Schedule I drug, cathinone. The defendant pleaded not guilty, but a jury found him guilty. The court also denied the man's motion for acquittal. He then appealed on the basis of two major court errors. Denial of Crim. R. 29 motion for acquittal of drug possession was found erroneous since defendant's mere presence in minivan with four other passengers did not demonstrate that he had dominion and control over drug and the mere ability to have access to it did not establish his authority over drug.