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People v. Harrison

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Third Division

May 2, 2019

The PEOPLE of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Brittany Page HARRISON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Rehearing Denied May 30, 2019.

Page 1169

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1170

         Jefferson County District Court No. 16CR3708 Honorable Christopher C. Zenisek, Judge.

         Philip J. Weiser, Attorney General, Trina K. Taylor, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

          Megan A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender, Jessica Sommer, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant.

         OPINION

         ROMÁ N, JUDGE.

         [¶1] Defendant, Brittany Page Harrison, appeals the judgment of conviction entered after a jury found her guilty of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Because we conclude the evidence at trial was insufficient to disprove the affirmative defense of immunity for persons suffering a drug overdose under section 18-1-711, C.R.S. 2018, we vacate the judgment.

Page 1171

          I. Background

         [¶2] Defendant and her friend, A.M., entered a Burger King restaurant, ordered a meal, and sat down at a booth. About an hour and a half later, staff at the restaurant noticed defendant and A.M. had not touched their food and were slumped over each other, "asleep." An employee made multiple attempts to wake them by yelling at them, shaking them, and banging on the table. Still, defendant and A.M. did not move or open their eyes. A short while later, the general manager called 911 because she was "concerned for their well-being" and worried "something [could] be wrong."[1]

         [¶3] When a police corporal arrived, defendant and A.M. were still unconscious. However, the corporal was able to wake defendant by announcing himself and shaking her forcefully. At that point, defendant was sluggish and confused. Because A.M. still did not wake up, the corporal called paramedics.

         [¶4] Defendant gave the corporal her identification and told him that she had not used drugs that day. But, a second police officer arrived on the scene and noticed defendant "looked to be under the influence of some substance."

         [¶5] Defendant gave the corporal permission to search her purse. He found a baggie with a tar-type substance in it, a syringe, a spoon, a torch, and tin-foil with burn marks. The substance in the baggie later tested positive for heroin.

         [¶6] Defendant also consented to a search of her backpack, which contained two glass pipes, a lighter, butane fluid, two butane torches, aluminum foil, and another baggie containing a powdery substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine.

         [¶7] When paramedics arrived, A.M., who was still unconscious, was taken to the ...


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