Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Majhanovich v. State

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 11, 2018

MATTHEW HARL MAJHANOVICH, Appellant (Defendant),
v.
THE STATE OF WYOMING, Appellee (Plaintiff).

          Appeal from the District Court of Sweetwater County The Honorable Nena James, Judge

          Representing Appellant: Office of the State Public Defender: Diane M. Lozano, State Public Defender; Kirk A. Morgan, Senior Assistant Appellate Counsel. Argument by Mr. Morgan.

          Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Attorney General; Christyne M. Martens, Deputy Attorney General; Katherine A. Adams, Assistant Attorney General. Argument by Ms. Adams.

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

          BURKE, Chief Justice.

         [¶1] Appellant, Matthew Harl Majhanovich, challenges his conviction for delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-7-1031(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2015). He contends the photo identification procedure used by law enforcement during their investigation of the crime resulted in an unreliable identification. We affirm.

         ISSUE

         [¶2] Appellant presents the following issue:

Was the photographic identification procedure used by law enforcement so impermissibly suggestive as to give rise to a very substantial likelihood of irreparable misidentification?

         FACTS

         [¶3] On April 19, 2016, Special Agent Cody Ruiz of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation received information from a confidential informant indicating that approximately two pounds of methamphetamine would be delivered to Rock Springs, Wyoming later that day from Colorado. He learned that Aaron Alonso expected to receive some of the methamphetamine at his residence in Rock Springs. As a result, Agent Ruiz arranged for a team of law enforcement officers, including Detective James Rhea, to conduct surveillance of Mr. Alonso's residence.

         [¶4] Later that evening, Detective Rhea observed Appellant arrive at Mr. Alonso's residence in a black Chevy pickup. When Mr. Alonso exited his residence, he walked around the truck and got "a good look at" Appellant because his window was rolled down. Mr. Alonso recognized Appellant from previous instances in which he had seen him driving around. Mr. Alonso climbed into the rear passenger seat of the truck. Appellant then drove down the street, pulled over by a stop sign, and then turned around and returned to Mr. Alonso's residence. During this time, Mr. Alonso paid Appellant $200.00 for some methamphetamine. Detective Rhea observed Appellant as he drove away from Mr. Alonso's residence. Detective Rhea recognized the pickup and identified Appellant as the driver of the truck based on previous investigations involving Appellant. He relayed this information to Agent Ruiz.

         [¶5] Agent Ruiz subsequently arrested and interviewed Mr. Alonso. During the interview, Mr. Alonso identified Appellant by his first name, "Matt, " and admitted that he had purchased methamphetamine from him. Mr. Alonso then identified Appellant in a photograph after Agent Ruiz showed him a single photo and asked him, "[W]ho is this or is this Matt?"

         [¶6] The State charged Appellant with one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, in violation of Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 35-7-1031(a)(i). Appellant entered a plea of not guilty and subsequently filed a "Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Photo Identification." Appellant asserted that the presentation of a single photo to Mr. Alonso was ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.