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142228 - People v Cooley (Michael)

The People of the State of Michigan,
Joel D. McGormley
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
(Hillsdale – Smith, M.)
Michael Carl Cooley,
Douglas W. Baker


​During a traffic stop, the defendant, one of several passengers in the car, got out of the car, but then complied with the police officer’s command to get back inside. The officer noticed a cigarette pack on the ground that contained a rock of crack cocaine. The defendant was arrested for possession of cocaine; he denied that the cigarette pack was his and asked for the pack to be tested for fingerprints. After a trial, the defendant was convicted as charged. At sentencing, the trial court scored Offense Variable 19 (MCL 777.49 – interference with administration of justice) at 10 points. The Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that the score was appropriate based on the defendant’s attempts to deflect blame from himself. Can OV 19 be scored under these circumstances?