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Name: People v. Barnes
Case #: H026137
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 09/24/2004
Subsequent History: Rev. gr. 12/15/04: S128931

Police observed Johnson drop a baggie of cocaine near Barnes’s feet when police approached them. Barnes was under the influence of cocaine with wadded up currency in his pockets. At his jury trial, expert testimony was admitted which concluded that the combination of these facts indicated that the two men were among the crack cocaine dealers who commonly dealt cocaine in the Fountain Alley neighborhood. The appellate court found that the expert testimony was properly admitted. The portrait or profile was helpful to the jury in understanding Barnes’s continuing presence in Fountain Alley, his relationship to Johnson, their joint constructive possession of the cocaine, and the possession of wadded up bills and baggies. The evidence was relevant and not more prejudicial than probative. Appellant also argued that his right to a jury trial was violated when the court relied on facts not found by a jury, i.e. that he was a recent parolee, in imposing an upper term sentence. The appellate court held that the issue was not waived for failure to raise it at trial. The holding of Blakely was sufficiently unforeseeable that there was no forfeiture for failing to object. However, the sentence was properly imposed. As long as the resulting sentence is within the maximum penalty authorized by the facts found by the jury and admitted by the defendant, Blakely and Apprendi do not prohibit a sentencing court from relying on aggravating or mitigating factors not found by the jury or admitted.