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State v. Gray

Court of Appeals of Arizona, Second Division

August 13, 2015

THE STATE OF ARIZONA, Appellee,
v.
MAVERICK KEMP GRAY, Appellant

Appeal from the Superior Court in Pima County. No. CR20132758001. The Honorable Scott Rash, Judge.

For Appellee: Chris DeRose, Assistant Solicitor General, Phoenix, Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, Joseph T. Maziarz, Section Chief Counsel, Phoenix.

For Appellant: David J. Euchner, Assistant Public Defender, Tucson, Steven R. Sonenberg, Interim Pima County Public Defender.

Presiding Judge Miller authored the opinion of the Court, in which Chief Judge Eckerstrom and Judge Espinosa concurred.

OPINION

Page 832

MILLER, Presiding Judge:

[¶1] Maverick Gray was convicted after a jury trial of one count of sale of narcotics, cocaine base, and sentenced to a 9.25-year prison term. On appeal, he argues the trial court abused its discretion by refusing his request for a jury instruction on entrapment. For the reasons that follow, Gray's conviction and sentence are affirmed.

Factual and Procedural Background

[¶2] We view the facts in the light most favorable to the party requesting the jury instruction. See State v. King, 225 Ariz. 87, ¶ 13, 235 P.3d 240, 243 (2010). In June 2013, Tucson Police Department Officer J.D. was working undercover, posing as a narcotics buyer. Around 11:30 p.m., he saw Gray seated at a bus stop although, the officer believed, bus service had ended for the evening. He pulled his car to the curb, ten to fifteen feet in front of the bus stop, and exchanged looks with Gray. J.D. then asked Gray, " Hey, can you help me out?" Gray approached the car and responded, " What kind of help do you need?" J.D. replied that he was trying to get some " hard," a slang term used for crack cocaine. Gray asked what was in it for him. Gray then negotiated a ten-dollar fee in exchange for acquiring twenty dollars of crack cocaine.

[¶3] Gray got in J.D.'s vehicle and directed him four miles through the city to an apartment complex. When they arrived J.D. gave Gray a twenty-dollar bill. Gray left the vehicle and headed to an unknown location. He returned about ten minutes later with a crack rock. J.D. gave Gray ten dollars and communicated to other officers that the deal had been completed. Gray was arrested shortly thereafter.

[¶4] Over Gray's objection, the trial court admitted a recording of his conversation with

Page 833

J.D. Based on the statements he made to the officer, Gray requested an instruction on entrapment arguing he admitted the elements of the crime in the recording. The court denied the request, concluding Gray had not admitted to the substantive elements of the underlying offense; therefore, the admission requirement for an entrapment defense had ...


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