Rose testified that he had not used cocaine for two years. He then stated that he had not sold any either. In an attempt to show that this statement was untruthful, the prosecutor asked if it was not a fact that on March 30, 1977, at 5:15 p.m. Rose and his girlfriend Debby had sold some cocaine to Agent Charles Harvey. Rose answered, in effect denying it.
Counsel for John Trowery moved for a mistrial, and the motion was not granted. The court advised Rose that he did not have to answer any questions which tended to incriminate him.
Even if the jury had fully believed Rose's testimony, there was still substantial uncontradicted evidence upon which they could have convicted John Trowery. Rose stated that he had met Goodson at 8:00 a.m., that Goodson had cocaine in his possession, and that Goodson said he was going to Trowery's to get some money. This testimony does not contradict the substantial evidence showing that Goodson was apprehended upon leaving the Trowery residence at 10:30 p.m. carrying cocaine wrapped in foil bearing John Trowery's fingerprint. Goodson admitted that although he went to Trowery's with the intention of being repaid for a debt in cash, Trowery had given him cocaine instead. The prosecutor's question to Rose did not in any way implicate John Trowery. The court has broad discretion in deciding whether to allow questions which shed light on the truthfulness of a witness. Cf. United States v. Cahalane, 560 F.2d 601, 607 (3rd Cir. 1977); United States v. Batts, 558 F.2d 513 (9th Cir. 1977); United States v. Estell, 539 F.2d 697 (10th Cir. 1976). Even if there was error in asking the question, it did not result in a level of prejudice against Trowery which would require a new trial. Rose was already substantially impeached; there was abundant evidence upon which to convict Trowery; and Rose's testimony, even if believed, would not exculpate Trowery.
It is true the co-defendant Fred Trowery, Jr., told Detective Bowie sometime after the execution of the search warrant at the Trowery residence that everything (cocaine) seized therein was his and that his uncle John Trowery had no knowledge that it was there. On the contrary, however, there was the testimony of Goodson that John Trowery gave him cocaine out of a jar just prior to the execution of the search warrant. Also, Special Agent Richard W. Sye, Jr., the case agent who interviewed Fred Trowery, Jr., testified that during the interview Fred Trowery stated that the cocaine found at the Trowery residence was Not his. The agent recalled replying that he knew it wasn't Fred's.
Thus, Fred Trowery flatly contradicted his admission. Neither Trowery took the witness stand, so the contradiction remained unexplained and a matter for the jury to decide. All the attendant circumstances supplied sufficient evidence for the jury to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that John Trowery and not Fred Trowery, Jr. was the possessor of the cocaine which was the subject of Count 4.
The court instructed the jury that an occupant of a house could be in constructive possession of cocaine found in a jar in the yard adjoining the house. Trowery complains there was insufficient proof that the residence in which he was arrested was, in fact, his own. But, here was ample proof that John Trowery and his wife were in the bedroom of the house at the time of the execution of the search warrant and that John Trowery gave cocaine to Goodson from a jar in the kitchen of the house prior to the execution of the search warrant. Goodson testified that he left John Trowery's home on Lincoln Avenue before he was arrested. Detective Bowie testified that on April 26, 1977, he went to the Trowery residence. Officer Ralph McDaniel testified that he knew Trowery and that Trowery lived at 1335 Lincoln Avenue; that he had seen Trowery on the porch of the house on several occasions, and that he had also seen Trowery on the porch and in the yard with Trowery's wife and daughter. There was ample evidence for the jury to reasonably infer that the house at which the search warrant was executed was occupied by John Trowery and his family on April 26, 1977.