This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Curtis Lamon Caradine,
Filed May 29, 2007
Olmsted County District Court
File No. K4-04-3504
John Stuart, State Public Defender, Jessica Godes,
Assistant Public Defender,
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
Mark A. Ostrem, Olmsted County Attorney, Eric M.
Woodford, Assistant County Attorney,
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
A jury found Curtis Caradine guilty of second-degree controlled substance crime. On appeal, Caradine argues first that it was plain error to allow five police officers to testify that they were familiar with Caradine before the controlled-purchase transaction. Second, Caradine argues that it was plain error to admit into evidence his unredacted statement to a police interviewer, which referred to Caradine’s prior criminal activity. Because the testimony did not constitute plain error and the unredacted statement was admissible under the doctrine of curative admissibility, we affirm.
F A C T S
the help of a confidential informant,
When Caradine stepped out of the vehicle, the police officers approached him. Caradine ran away and was eventually stopped by a police dog. The officers recovered the $100 and a bag of crack cocaine. Because the sale occurred in a school zone, Caradine was charged with second-degree controlled substance crime under Minn. Stat. § 152.022, subd. 1(6)(i).
At Caradine’s trial, five police officers who had been present at the controlled purchase testified about their observations. Each officer testified either that he was familiar with Caradine before the controlled purchase or that he recognized Caradine at the time of the controlled purchase. Caradine did not object to this testimony.
A police officer interviewed Caradine after the controlled purchase. He first advised Caradine of his Miranda rights, and then asked Caradine about selling crack cocaine to the informant. According to the officer, Caradine “indicated he didn’t sell it to her, he gave it to her.”
When Caradine testified in his own defense, he denied admitting that he gave the informant crack cocaine. Caradine claimed that he made his statements to the officer because he “was basically trying to, you know, help myself out because I had some[thing] else, you know, pending, and I was trying help myself because I didn’t want another case.”
In rebuttal, the state played a recording of the officer’s interview with Caradine. About eight minutes of the nineteen-minute recording consists of Caradine and the officer discussing Caradine’s pending gun charge and the possibility of a plea bargain. On the recording, the officer tells Caradine that it might be difficult to reach a plea bargain because “you’ve got some history.” Caradine tells the officer, “I’m on bail, so I know I won’t get . . . bail.” The officer later makes a reference to Caradine’s “gun charge.” The officer also tells Caradine, “When we heard you were selling dope again, we had the opportunity to get you, that’s why we did it.” Caradine did not object to the introduction of the recording.
The jury found Caradine guilty and he now appeals his conviction.
D E C I S I O N
failure to object to the admission of evidence generally constitutes a waiver
of the issue on appeal. State v. Quick, 659 N.W.2d 701, 717 (
of the defendant’s other crimes or misconduct is admissible only for limited purposes. State
v. Spreigl, 272
this record we conclude that the police officers’ testimony that they were
familiar with Caradine was not directed toward proving that Caradine had
committed other crimes and did not reveal that he had been involved in previous
crimes or misconduct. To convict
Caradine, the state needed to prove every element of the charged offense beyond
a reasonable doubt. State v. Cross, 577 N.W.2d 721, 726 (
State v. Strommen, the supreme court
held that an officer’s testimony that he knew the defendant from “prior
contacts and incidents” was prejudicial and constituted character
evidence. 648 N.W.2d 681, 687-88 (
But Caradine’s argument does have a deeper point. In this case, the officers testified about controlled purchases and about why Caradine was targeted. Presumably, the state has some reason for setting up a controlled purchase. Thus testimony about the controlled purchase by its nature incorporates a degree of prejudice. But the Strommen decision stands for a narrower legal proposition that does not apply to the facts of this case. Under existing law the testimony did not constitute clear or obvious error.
We also reject Caradine’s claim of plain error in the admissibility of Caradine’s unredacted statement to the police. We agree that the requirements for Spreigl evidence were not satisfied. But the unredacted statement, which contained references to Caradine’s prior criminal activity, was nonetheless admissible under the doctrine of curative admissibility.
When one party introduces
inadmissible evidence, the doctrine of curative admissibility allows the other
party to introduce otherwise inadmissible evidence on the same point. Busch
v. Busch Constr., Inc., 262 N.W.2d 377, 386 (
charges related to his admissions. Thus, the state could properly introduce the unredacted recording of Caradine’s statements to the police.