A jury acquitted a Marion, Ohio, man of drug charges following a three-day trial recently.
The man, 33, was facing a number of drug charges, including a first-degree felony count of cocaine possession. He was indicted after officers discovered nearly 46 grams of cocaine, a firearm and other drugs as they searched a house where the man was living.
It took a thorough search for the officers to locate the drugs. The prosecutor said the police found the drugs in a cereal box on top of the refrigerator. Another drug was located in a bedroom in the ceiling joint.
In the end, the man’s attorney said, the jury couldn’t be sure who owned the drugs and brought them into the home. The attorney said there wasn’t any evidence to directly connect the man to possession of the drugs.
The prosecutor in Marion County disagreed, however. He said the man was the sole resident of the house and that his name was on the utility bills. He said that sometimes, even when significant evidence is presented, a jury isn’t convinced.
The man’s attorney said some key evidence was missing, though. On the firearm, for example, there weren’t any fingerprints or any DNA collected. The prosecutor countered that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation doesn’t analyze potential DNA findings in a drug case and that police don’t always check for fingerprints when only one person lives in a house.
In all criminal cases, defendants are innocent until the prosecution can prove their guilt. In this case, the jury found that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal defense attorneys are skilled at pointing out flaws in a case and bringing such inconsistencies to the jury’s attention.