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Garriott v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

January 18, 2018

COREY DAVID GARRIOTT, Appellant (Defendant),
THE STATE OF WYOMING Appellee (Plaintiff).

         Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County The Honorable Daniel L. Forgey, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane Lozano, State Public Defender; Tina N. Olson [*], Chief Appellate Counsel; Kirk Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Ms. Olson.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; David L. Delicath, Deputy Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jesse B. Naiman, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Mr. Naiman.

          Before BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.

          DAVIS, Justice.

         [¶1] Corey Garriott was convicted of one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. He appeals his conviction, claiming that the district court made numerous errors in the admission of testimony, and that it erred in denying his motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds. He further claims that plain error occurred when a law enforcement witness offered his opinion that Mr. Garriott committed the crime of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. We affirm.


         [¶2] Mr. Garriott presents three issues on appeal, which we state as:

I. Did the trial court err in admitting improper "overview" testimony, testimony regarding portions of the conspiracy in which Mr. Garriott had no involvement, and testimony regarding the addiction, substance abuse, and personal histories of Mr. Garriott's co-conspirators?
II. Did the trial court err in denying Mr. Garriott's motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds?
III. Did plain error occur when a state witness offered his opinion that Mr. Garriott committed the crime of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine?


         [¶3] In the fall of 2015, Pauline Hemicker began selling methamphetamine in Casper, Wyoming. Ms. Hemicker's original supplier was Joshua Coats, but around January 2016, Mr. Coats became unavailable because he was scheduled to begin serving a sentence at the Casper re-entry facility. Because Mr. Coats was going to be unavailable while serving his sentence, he made arrangements for Ms. Hemicker to obtain methamphetamine directly from his Colorado source, Chris Pino. As of January 2016, Ms. Hemicker therefore took over as Mr. Pino's distributor in Casper.

         [¶4] Ms. Hemicker used multiple distributors to sell methamphetamine, but her main distributor was Mikey Ross, whom she met in November 2015. Around the end of January or the beginning of February 2016, Ms. Hemicker met Mr. Ross at home in his garage. Corey Garriott was also present, and Mr. Ross asked Ms. Hemicker if she had any work for Mr. Garriott.[1] Ms. Hemicker took this to be a request for methamphetamine to distribute, because work was the slang term she, along with Mr. Ross and Mr. Garriott, used to refer to methamphetamine. Ms. Hemicker described that meeting:

Q. And who was present?
A. It was me, Mikey Ross, Corey. I think that's it.
Q. Okay. And, again, this would have been sometime the end of January, first of February you think?
A. Right.
Q. And so what happened at that meeting when he asked if you had any work for Corey?
A. I was iffy about it at first. I mean, I don't know. And then I - I don't know. Mikey said he trusted him. It was his boy. He said he would do the transactions, he would collect the money, and that I wouldn't have to deal with him one-on-one.
Q. Okay. And so how did you feel about that?
A. I was okay with it as long as it went through Mikey Ross.

         [¶5] During that meeting in the garage, Ms. Hemicker supplied Mr. Ross with methamphetamine and instructed him that it was "totally up to him to distribute to whoever he did." On February 2, 2016, Mr. Ross sent Ms. Hemicker a text message, which stated, "Heh I got corys money for u, " followed immediately by a message that he also had money for her. Ms. Hemicker understood the messages to refer to money for the methamphetamine she had supplied because that was the only thing for which either Mr. Ross or Mr. Garriott would owe her money.

         [¶6] Ms. Hemicker described a number of occasions on which she supplied methamphetamine to Mr. Garriott or had discussions with him about supplying him with methamphetamine. Just a couple of days after the first occasion in Mr. Ross' garage, Ms. Hemicker again met Mr. Ross and Mr. Garriott at Mr. Ross' home. When Mr. Garriott left the home, Ms. Hemicker followed him to the driveway and handed him an 8-ball of methamphetamine.[2] Thereafter, Ms. Hemicker started communicating directly with Mr. Garriott, and they exchanged several text messages relating to Ms. Hemicker's ability to supply Mr. Garriott with methamphetamine as well as money Mr. Garriott owed Ms. Hemicker.

         [¶7] After being supplied by Ms. Hemicker, Mr. Garriott sold three grams of methamphetamine to a friend of his, Angela Danielson. Ms. Danielson described that transaction:

Q. Now, during this time period, let's say beginning of February of 2016, did you ever get any methamphetamine from anyone besides Mikey Ross?
A. Yeah.
Q. And who was that?
A. I got some from Corey once.
Q. And can you tell me what led to that.
A. What - what led to me getting it from him?
Q. Yeah.
A. We would text back and forth. I would - I would text him and ask for work; and whenever I would say that, I would mean I was looking for dope. And he text me out of the blue and said he had some, and I got it from him. That was that. It was one time, though.

         [¶8] Mr. Garriott fronted Ms. Danielson the methamphetamine he supplied her, meaning that he in effect sold it to her on credit. Their understanding was Ms. Danielson would pay Mr. Garriott after she sold the methamphetamine. In the days following that transaction, Mr. Garriott and Ms. Danielson exchanged numerous text messages concerning Ms. Danielson's desire to be introduced to Ms. Hemicker, her requests for additional work from Mr. Garriott, and the money she owed him.

         [¶9] During this same February 2016 time frame, Mr. Garriott was living with John Fry, a methamphetamine user, and he was also selling methamphetamine to Mr. Fry. On February 8, 2016, Mr. Garriott sent a text message to Ms. Hemicker asking that she meet with him and Mr. Fry. His message stated, "Hey when you get some free time will you meet one of my homies and hear a business plan." Ms. Hemicker agreed to the meeting and described what occurred:

Q. And when they got there, did they have some kind of business plan to propose to you?
A. Yes.
Q. And do you recall what that was?
A. That was for me to tell them who I was distributing my methamphetamine to so that they can go and take it from them after I distributed to them.
Q. And when you say "take it from them, " what - what do you mean?
A. Rob them.
*** Q. So what was the plan? What were they going to do with the methamphetamine once they took it?
A. They were just going to distribute it, just make double money off of it.
Q. And so when they told you that plan, what was your reaction?
A. I didn't think it was a good idea. I denied them when they came to me for that business proposition.

         [¶10] Some days after that meeting, Mr. Garriott, while at home with Mr. Fry, sent a text message to Ms. Hemicker "trying to set up a meeting for her to come over and basically broker a deal for some meth." Mr. Fry explained:

Q. And when you say "broker a deal for methamphetamine, " what do you mean?
A. Well, Corey was basically meeting - having me meet Pauline so she could bring some meth.
Q. And what was going to happen with the meth that she brought?
A. It was going to be used and sold by myself and Corey.
Q. And up to this point, had you been selling methamphetamine?
A. No. I was just using.
Q. And so why at this point - why were you going to get into selling?
A. I was having a real hard time financially. I was laid off from the oil field.

         [¶11] That same evening, Ms. Hemicker and her husband came to Mr. Fry's home. Mr. Fry again explained:

Q. And, again, do you know how the meeting was set up?
So you didn't have Ms. Hemicker's contact information, so -
A. No, ma'am. Corey - Corey contacted her. And - and then they both ended up coming over. He came back over, and she showed up right after.
Q. And so who all was at this meeting?
A. Myself; Corey Garriott; Pauline; and Uwe, her husband.
Q. And what happened at that meeting?
A. She came over. We used some meth, and we talked about - I talked about buying some meth from her. And I ended up buying some.
Q. And do you recall how much you purchased that night?
A. It would have been an ounce.
Q. And do you remember what you were being charged for that?
A. I believe it was - I think it was about $900.
Q. And how - did you pay for that that evening?
A. Yes; most of it.
Q. Okay. Do you recall how much exactly?
A. About $600.
Q. And so where - how - what was the arrangement, then, for the rest of the money for that?
A. She was going to come back and get it.
Q. And where were you going to come up with that money?
A. Selling methamphetamines.
Q. And so did you end up selling that methamphetamine?
A. Yes.
Q. And did you return that money to Ms. Hemicker?
A. I did.
Q. And after this initial meeting that Mr. Garriott set up, how were you and Ms. ...

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