MCFADDEN, P. J., RAY and RICKMAN, JJ.
McFadden, Presiding Judge.
Lee Pennington, Jr. appeals from his convictions for
trafficking in methamphetamine (OCGA § 16-13-31 (f) (1))
and possession with the intent to distribute of a controlled
substance near a school (OCGA § 16-13-32.4). He
challenges the sufficiency of the evidence as to both
convictions, but the evidence was sufficient to support them.
He argues that the trial court erred in striking a
prospective juror for cause, but he has not shown that the
trial court abused his discretion in striking the prospective
juror. Finally, he argues that the trial court erred in
failing to charge the jury on an affirmative defense related
to the offense of possession with intent to distribute near a
school, but he was not entitled to that charge because he did
not admit to having committed the offense. So we affirm.
Sufficiency of the evidence.
appeal from a criminal conviction, we view the evidence in
the light most favorable to the verdict, with the defendant
no longer enjoying a presumption of innocence."
Reese v. State, 270 Ga.App. 522, 523 (607 S.E.2d
165) (2004) (citation omitted). We neither weigh the evidence
nor judge the credibility of witnesses, but determine only
whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, "any rational trier of
fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
beyond a reasonable doubt." Jackson v.
Virginia, 443 U.S. 307, 319 (III) (B) (99 S.Ct. 2781, 61
L.Ed.2d 560) (1979) (emphasis omitted).
viewed, the evidence showed that on September 25, 2014, law
enforcement officers, based on a tip, went to property
adjacent to an elementary school. Pennington was using a shed
on the property as his residence. The shed was less than 100
feet away from the elementary school property.
Pennington's consent, the officers searched the shed,
which was divided into a common area and two bedrooms. The
shed appeared to be an active methamphetamine lab, and the
smell of chemicals associated with methamphetamine production
could be detected inside and outside the shed. Pennington
showed the officers a vessel of a type used for manufacturing
methamphetamine, which had been hidden behind a dresser in a
common area and which contained methamphetamine residue. The
officers also found in the common area a bottle of a
substance used in methamphetamine production.
Pennington's room, the officers found numerous empty,
unused plastic baggies of a type used in the distribution or
storage of drugs, a used plastic baggie containing
methamphetamine residue, and a glass pipe with
methamphetamine residue on it. The officers also found in
Pennington's room equipment and substances used in
methamphetamine production. The officers found empty plastic
baggies in the other bedroom and empty, discarded containers
of substances used in methamphetamine production outside the
argues that this evidence was insufficient to show that he
committed the offense of trafficking in methamphetamine. We
disagree. The state charged Pennington with trafficking
pursuant to OCGA § 16-13-31 (f) (1), which pertinently
provides that "[a]ny person who manufactures
methamphetamine . . . commits the felony offense of
trafficking methamphetamine" and sets the minimum
punishment for such an offense if the quantity of
methamphetamine involved is less than 200 grams. The
evidence, which included the presence of equipment and
supplies for the production of methamphetamine in both the
common area and Pennington's room in the shed, authorized
the jury to find Pennington guilty of trafficking in
methamphetamine. See State v. Nankervis, 295 Ga.
406, 410-411 (3) (761 S.E.2d 1) (2014).
Possession with intent to distribute near a school.
do not agree with Pennington's argument that the evidence
was insufficient to support his conviction for possession of
methamphetamine with intent to distribute near a school. OCGA
§ 16-13-32.4 (a) provides that
[i]t shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture,
distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to distribute a
controlled substance or marijuana in, on, or within 1, 000
feet of any real property owned by or leased to any public or
private elementary school, secondary school, or school board
used for elementary or secondary education.
evidence authorized the jury to find that Pennington was in
possession of methamphetamine within 1, 000 feet of an
elementary school. While only the residue of methamphetamine
was found in Pennington's shed at the time of his arrest,
there was circumstantial evidence that he had recently
possessed methamphetamine, including the presence of
equipment and ingredients for manufacturing methamphetamine
and the strong odor of methamphetamine that permeated the
shed. The state was permitted to prove that Pennington
committed this offense on any date within the statute of
limitations because the indictment did not allege that the
date of Pennington's possession of methamphetamine was
material. See Ledesma v. State, 251 Ga. 885 (1) (a)
(311 S.E.2d 427) (1984). And there was evidence that he
intended to distribute the methamphetamine that had been in
his possession, including the presence of unused plastic
baggies and the testimony of a law enforcement officer that
such baggies often were used for the distribution of drugs.
Although, in support of his sufficiency challenge, Pennington
points to the absence of ...