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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:After a bench trial, the appellant was convicted of the felony offense of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. The court of appeals held that the evidence was legally insufficient, reversed the conviction and ordered an acquittal. This court granted the state’s petition for discretionary review to determine whether the court of appeals erred in finding that appellant was not affirmatively linked to the cocaine found in various locations in his home. HOLDING:The court reverses the judgment of acquittal entered by the court of appeals and remands the case to that court to consider appellant’s remaining claims. The court holds that the evidence was legally sufficient to support appellant’s conviction. The court of appeals held, and the parties agree, that appellant was linked to the house where the contraband was found, but that he did not have exclusive possession of it. This conclusion was based upon evidence that: 1. both bedrooms in appellant’s house appeared to be used; 2. a second person, possibly a woman, opened the door for the confidential informant during the January 17 drug buy; and 3. because Officer Kirk was too far away, he was unable himself to positively identify appellant as the driver of the gray dually truck that arrived during the January 17 drug buy. This is a very slender evidentiary reed to support a factual conclusion that someone else lived with appellant or had joint control over the house. Nonetheless, because the state did not contest this conclusion, the court will not infer the appellant’s knowledge of and control over the contraband solely from his possession of the house where drugs were found. Thus, the court looks for additional facts and circumstances which affirmatively link appellant to the drugs. A police officer testified that a confidential informant told him that appellant was selling narcotics out of his residence at 1307 Van Loan. “While appellant could have objected to these out-of-court statements as hearsay, he did not. While appellant could have requested the trial court to limit his consideration of these statements to show how or why the officers’ attention focused upon appellant, he did not. In fact, appellant did not contest the propriety of the initial investigation, the sufficiency of the warrant, the existence of probable cause, or any other preliminary legal question. He simply contested the ultimate fact that he knowingly possessed the cocaine. Thus, all of the State’s evidence was offered to prove appellant’s guilt, not to explain how appellant became the focus of a police investigation.” The out-of-court statements of the informant have sufficient probative value, in and of themselves, to establish an affirmative link between appellant and the crack cocaine found in his home. Even putting aside this testimony, the court decides that the state established other sufficient affirmative links between appellant and the drugs. OPINION:Cathy Cochran, J.

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