State v. Russell

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State v. Russell

Case Number
Call Date
November 3, 2015
Court Number
Case Summary

S-15-0037, State of Nebraska v. Darnell L. Russell

Douglas County, Hon. Gary B. Randall

Attorneys: Daniel R. Stockmann (Appellant); Austin Relph, Attorney General's Office

Criminal: evidence admissibility; classification of felony; excessive sentence

Proceedings Below: Russell was charged with conspiracy to commit unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (crack cocaine) and with being a habitual criminal. Following a jury trial, Russell was found guilty. The State did not pursue the habitual criminal charge at sentencing. Russell was sentenced to 20 to 25 years' imprisonment with credit for 173 days' time served.

Issues on appeal: Whether the district court erred in (1) allowing Officer James Paul to testify as to the probable meaning of certain text messages sent between Russell and other players in the drug conspiracy; (2) allowing Frank Lovejoy to testify despite the State's failure to timely disclose Lovejoy's status as a witness; (3) finding that Russell's crime was a Class IB felony instead of a Class II felony; and (4) imposing an excessive sentence.