State v. Rodriguez
As explained in the 2006 Appellate Court case of State v. Caracoglia, "[t]he testimony of one credible witness is sufficient evidence to convict one accused of a crime." The jury reasonably could have found the following facts. An undercover police detective and informant went to Eddie Rodriguez's apartment and asked to see "Tonga." The woman who answered the door addressed Rodriguez sitting on the couch and said, "Tonga, it's somebody to see you." For $500, Rodriguez gave the detective 65 bags of heroin. Rodriguez later was arrested and, after waiving his rights, made a sworn statement admitting to selling heroin for approximately nine months and to recognizing the detective as someone to whom he had sold heroin. At trial, the detective identified the defendant and stated that he was "100 percent convinced" that the defendant was the individual from whom he had purchased the drugs. The defendant testified that he responded to the detective's inquiries to purchase narcotics that he did not sell drugs. He testified that the signed statement was not his and that he signed it because the interviewing officer indicated that they would jail his mother if he refused to sign. The defendant and his family members testified, based on an audio recording of the drug transaction, that it was the defendant's brother who interacted with the detective. The defendant's niece testified that it was the defendant's brother on the couch that day. The jury found the defendant guilty of sale of narcotics by a person who is not drug-dependent and sale of narcotics within 1500 feet of a public elementary school. The defendant appealed claiming that insufficient evidence was produced to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The Appellate Court disagreed and affirmed the judgment. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to sustaining the verdict, ample support was found for the jury's determination that it was the defendant who sold the heroin. Most significantly, the detective identified the defendant as the person who sold him the narcotics. Additional evidence corroborated the identification including testimony that the defendant's nickname was "Tonga" and the defendant's signed confession.