Officer sees subject throw item to the ground


In 2000, Alfred Griffin and Troy Johnson were sitting in front of Griffin’s apartment drinking beer, which was not allowed on the apartment complex premises. Officer James Carney was providing security for the apartment complex when he noticed a brown paper bag on the porch near Griffin and Johnson. Suspecting it contained beer, Carney approached Griffin and Johnson and noticed that they were each holding a beer can.

As Carney asked the two men to stand up, both Griffin and Johnson turned and ran with Carney pursuing Griffin. While running, Griffin reached into his pants and dropped something on the ground. After chasing Griffin, Carney returned to the spot where he had seen Griffin drop something and found a matchbox with six pieces of crack cocaine inside.

Griffin was convicted of possession of cocaine and sentenced to eight years. On appeal, he argued it was his word against the officer’s word. MCOA affirmed.


Griffin’s argument consists of a blanket statement that the State failed to overcome the presumption of innocence by failing to meet their burden of proof. Griffin also states that, since the only evidence was one man’s word against another, there was insufficient evidence to convict. However, the jury believed the testimony of Carney.

Carney did not lose sight of Griffin during the chase and he saw the exact location where Griffin threw the matchbox. Carney testified that the area where he found the matchbox had recently been mowed and that there were no other items on the ground near the matchbox. Furthermore, there was testimony to prove that the substance in the matchbox was cocaine. We find that the evidence was sufficient to allow a reasonable juror to find that Griffin was guilty of the crime charged.