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Olson v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

November 13, 2015

ROSE M. OLSON, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee

Appeal from the District Court, Fourth Judicial District, Bethel, Bruce Ward, Magistrate Judge. Trial Court No. 4BE-12-1078 CR.

Gavin Kentch, Law Office of Gavin Kentch, LLC, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

Ben Wohlfeil, Assistant District Attorney, Anchorage, and Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, and Allard and Kossler, Judges.

OPINION

ALLARD, Judge

A jury convicted Rose M. Olson of importation of alcoholic beverages into a local option community, a class A misdemeanor.[1]

Page 455

Olson now appeals, raising three claims of error. She argues first that the trial court improperly limited her cross-examination of the State's main witness by preventing her from cross-examining the witness about an alleged probation violation and a false statement to the court. She argues next that the prosecutor committed prosecutorial misconduct by referring to the jurors by name during his closing argument. Last, she argues that the judge relied on improper considerations at her sentencing.

For the reasons explained here, we reject Olson's claims and affirm her conviction and sentence.

(Olson also separately argues that her judgment of conviction has a clerical error. The State agrees. Olson's judgment of conviction incorrectly states she was convicted under AS 04.16.200(e)(1). But Olson was actually convicted of violating AS 04.11.499(a). Accordingly, we direct the district court to amend the judgment to reflect the correct statute under which Olson was convicted.)

Background facts

In October 2012, Alaska State Trooper Angela Womack received a tip that a woman named Pauline Roland was planning to import alcohol and marijuana into Goodnews Bay, a local option community. A few weeks after receiving the tip, Trooper Womack learned that Roland and her friend, Rose Olson, had checked in for an afternoon flight from Bethel to Goodnews Bay.

Trooper Womack intercepted the two women at the Bethel airport. A subsequent search of their bags uncovered thirteen 750 milliliter bottles of alcohol and 26.5 grams of marijuana. Roland's name tags were on the bags in which the alcohol was found. But the clothes in one of the bags belonged to Olson. Olson's name tag was on the bag without any alcohol but Roland's prescription medication was found in this bag.

Roland admitted that the marijuana was hers but she told the trooper that the alcohol belonged to Olson and that Olson had switched the name tags. Olson told the trooper that the alcohol was Roland's, although she admitted that she (Olson) had helped pack the alcohol in the bags and also admitted that one of the bags with alcohol contained her clothes.

The Statecharged both women with importationofalcoholicbeverages into a local option community, a class A misdemeanor.[2] Roland was also charged with sixth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance based on the marijuana.[3]

Roland subsequently entered into a plea agreement with the State whereby she agreed to plead guilty to the misdemeanor drug charge and agreed to testify against Olson at trial in ...


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