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The People v. Edward Ansley

April 24, 2013

THE PEOPLE, PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
EDWARD ANSLEY, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. CH028607)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie , J.

P. v. Ansley

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

A jury found defendant Edward Ansley guilty of possessing a sharp instrument in a penal institution. In a bifurcated proceeding, defendant admitted 21 prior strikes.

Sentenced to a state prison term of 25 years to life consecutive to his current term, defendant contends that insufficient evidence supported the verdict and that the trial court erred by instructing the jury on constructive possession. We shall affirm.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Around 8:30 a.m. on December 10, 2010, correctional officers at High Desert State Prison, where defendant was an inmate, were conducting cell searches, which included using a metal detection wand. Correctional Officer Stephen Hobbs, on duty as a housing officer, heard a positive indication from a detection wand employed by his partner as he held it near defendant's buttocks. The wanding was done in the "day room," an open area far from any metal which could give a false positive.

Officer Hobbs escorted defendant, now handcuffed and wearing only white boxer shorts, to a contraband watch holding cell in a different building.*fn1 The cell is constructed of metal mesh on all sides, so that a person inside can be observed from outside, and is so small that an occupant can only stand, without being able to move any substantial distance.*fn2 Before putting defendant in the cell at 8:40 a.m., Officer Hobbs inspected it and found it free of contraband and in good condition. After putting defendant in the cell, Officer Hobbs recorded his observations of defendant every 15 minutes in a log (offered in evidence as an exhibit).

Officer Hobbs remained outside the cell observing defendant for about an hour and one-half. But the officer's attention was then diverted (for a period he estimated on direct testimony as about five minutes) when he had to help other officers subdue a combative inmate coming out of a nearby cell.*fn3

After that distraction, Officer Hobbs's attention was drawn back to defendant's cell by "[a] very foul odor[,]" "like someone pulled the lid off a septic tank." The officer spotted a "white, brownish object" on the floor of the cell. He got another officer to contact the investigative services unit (ISU) to inspect the object.

ISU Officers Rodriguez and Brackett arrived and observed defendant still in the cell, handcuffed, and wearing white boxer shorts taped at the waist and legs. Officer Rodriguez spotted the object on the floor; it was white with brown fecal matter on it which appeared to be fresh.

After removing defendant from the cell at 10:40 a.m., Officer Rodriguez picked up the object and washed it off. What remained was an outer "sheath" or "packaging" consisting of transparent plastic wrapped over white paper, covering a piece of sharpened metal attached to a plastic handle. The ...


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