Backpack Dispute Continues through Pictures in Controlled Substances Sale Case


By Danielle Silva

On Wednesday, Judge David Reed presided over the case of Mr. Terrence Lamar Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson was arrested on August 14, 2018, and charged with the possession of controlled substances for sale and visiting a location where controlled substance use was occurring.

The afternoon session began with Yolo District Attorney Investigator Kevin Skaife testifying on the stand. He shared a call log linked to the defendant’s pin number while he was in custody, lasting from April 2018 to November 2018.

While the call log includes dates beyond the scope of the trial, the investigator only searched calls within the scope of the trial and only listened to make sure the voice of the caller all matched, with the exception of one.

After confirming the calls were made by the defendant, he did not search the calls for content.

During his testimony, the People, represented by Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian, shared an audio file that Investigator Skaife had focused the most on. This August 16 call, lasting only 0.82 minutes, noted two individuals. While Mr. Hutchinson was identified, the second person was not. The audio, while unclear without a transcript, noted someone’s action and a possible threat concerning someone’s wife.

Only three calls were made in September following this. The defense, represented by Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt, asked if the defendant’s call card credit had been used up by that point. The officer did not follow up the credit for the card in the following calls.

As Investigator Skaife was excused, Officer Shad Begley, the investigating officer for this case, returned to the stand. The prosecution and defense presented a multitude of pictures concerning the crime scene for the officer to identify and compare. Many of these pictures were not taken by the officer but he had been around the scene when the pictures were taken.

From the pictures Officer Begley was asked to identify apprehended individuals arrested near controlled substance usage locations, papers noting a controlled substance sale, and several backpacks.

At the location where Mr. Hutchinson was arrested, a Michael Kors backpack was found with a large amount of cash and controlled substances. In a prior location that Officer Begley had searched, pictures of a similar Michael Kors backpack had been found, but the backpack had not been taken into evidence.

Officer Begley noted that one backpack appeared to be blue and the other to be gray but the colors could be similar, given the lighting and camera. Additionally, anyone staying or visiting the home near where Mr. Hutchinson was arrested could have had access to it.

In addition to examining pictures, Officer Begley identified several packages of methamphetamine and heroin, all NIK-tested. The amount totaled to 20.4 grams of methamphetamine, worth approximately $600, and 4 grams of heroin, worth approximately $320. He also noted that they did not seek warrants to search any phones or have any data extracted from them.

Concerning the defendant, Officer Begley noted Mr. Hutchinson had a personal amount of controlled substances on him when arrested – only enough heroin to use by himself. However, he had spotted the defendant doing hand-to-hand drug transactions, despite Mr. Hutchinson not having money on him afterward.

The officer did believe that Mr. Hutchinson was staying in an area where the owner of the residence also owned multiple residences. In these residences, the homeowner provided drugs to dealers in exchange for allowing said dealers to stay there or use the drugs. Officer Begley noted many of the people living around that area were transient.

However, none of those living in the residences stated they sold drugs for that homeowner. The trial is set to resume Thursday morning in Department 7.

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