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Sciaraffa v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

April 7, 2015

Glenn Sciaraffa, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

Page 352

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 353

Appeal from the Cass Superior Court. The Honorable Richard A. Maughmer, Judge. Cause No. 09D02-1405-FB-24.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Mark Leeman, Logansport, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Jodi Kathryn Stein, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Riley, Judge. Vaidik, C. J. and Baker, J. concur.

OPINION

Page 354

Riley, Judge.

[¶ 1] Appellant-Defendant, Glenn Sciaraffa (Sciaraffa), appeals his conviction for dealing in methamphetamine, a Class B felony, Ind. Code § 35-48-4-1.1(a)(1) (2013); maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony, I.C. § 35-48-4-13(b)(1) (2013); possession of paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor, I.C. § 35-48-4-8.3 (2013); and his adjudication as an habitual substance offender, I.C. § 35-50-2-10.[1]

[¶ 2] We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶ 3] Sciaraffa raises three issues on appeal, which we restate as follows:

(1) Whether the trial court committed a fundamental error by admitting the presumptive positive test for methamphetamine;
(2) Whether fundamental error occurred during the State's closing argument; and
(3) Whether the State presented sufficient evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to sustain Sciaraffa's conviction.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶ 4] During the evening of May 1, 2014, and into the early morning hours of May 2, 2014, Sciaraffa manufactured methamphetamine in his residence near Galveston in Cass County, Indiana. He resided in the residence with his girlfriend Brandi Bragg (Bragg) and Bragg's fifteen-year-old son. Sciaraffa manufactured the methamphetamine using the one-pot or " shake and bake" method in a closet in his house, which he had outfitted with a trap door

Page 355

and a fan to release the chemical fumes as he " burped" the gas from the mixture. (Transcript pp. 131, 126). At one point during the evening, Sciaraffa and Bragg tested the methamphetamine by smoking a small portion Sciaraffa had extracted from the chemical solution. Bragg went to bed around 1 a.m. on the morning of May 2, 2014, while Sciaraffa continued the manufacturing process.

[¶ 5] Bragg awoke around 11 a.m. that same morning and followed Sciaraffa out to the garage. She " wanted to catch a buzz" and smoke some of the methamphetamine Sciaraffa had manufactured during the night. (Tr. p. 118). They both smoked the methamphetamine from a pipe in the garage and Sciaraffa handed Bragg a small amount in a bag to consume later. Sciaraffa then instructed Bragg " to clean house because he felt [] probation was going to be there today." (Tr. p. 118).

[¶ 6] Around 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, as Bragg was knocking on the garage door, several law enforcement officers arrived at the residence. Bragg informed the officers that Sciaraffa was in the garage and would not come out. When Howard County Probation Officer Dustin DeLong (Officer DeLong) approached the garage, Sciaraffa opened the door. Officer DeLong immediately " noticed a very strong odor emitting from the garage," which took his breath away. (Tr. p. 25). Asked what he was doing, Sciaraffa " held up a paint can," " pointed to a guitar," and informed the officer that he had been painting the instrument. (Tr. p. 25). Because the odor was not a paint smell but rather a " chemical ...


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