McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 8, 2013

Jury verdict in felony drug case: Not guilty

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A Pittsburg County jury came back with a not guilty verdict in a felony drug case for a McAlester man.

James Ruben Williams, 45, was facing a felony charge of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine base). District Judge Thomas Bartheld presided over the hearing Tuesday in Pittsburg County District Court.

Williams was charged in February 2012 with the felony and a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. After hearing arguments from the District 18 District Attorney’s Office, and from Williams attorney, the jury deliberated and found Williams not guilty of the felony and guilty of the misdemeanor.

According to court records, Williams was arrested on in October 2011 after a regular traffic stop in McAlester. Williams was a passenger in a vehicle and was arrested under suspicion of public intoxication. When Williams was booked into the county jail, officers found a glass smoking pipe associated with the smoking of crack-cocaine.

The jury recommended Williams be sentenced to serve one year in the county jail. Bartheld agreed with the jury’s recommendation and completed the sentencing stage of the trial just after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Williams attorney, Blake Lynch, said, “We were pleased to see that he wasn’t convicted as tot he felony charge and we accept the jury’s judgment as to the misdemeanor.

District 18 Assistant District Attorney Chuck Sullivan prosecuted the case for the state. He did not offer a comment on the case.



Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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