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November 29, 2008

No probable cause, improper search leads to dismissal of drug charges

Two felony drug cases were dismissed last week following hearings in Pittsburg County District Court.

On Nov. 21, a charge was dismissed for Ralph Wayne Weaver Jr., 32, of Krebs. On the same day, another charge was dismissed for Charles Wayne Fields, 48, of McAlester, and Tresa Pippin, 51, of Eufaula.

Weaver had been charged with possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and three misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, driving without a license and failure to pay state taxes. He had been arrested Jan. 28 by Krebs police following a traffic stop, six months after he was given a five-year suspended sentence on two other methamphetamine possession cases.

In September, a preliminary hearing was held to determine if Weaver should be bound over for trial. During the hearing, however, Weaver’s attorney announced intent to file a motion to suppress evidence in the case.

In October, the motion was filed alleging Weaver was arrested after an illegal search. The court brief alleged several points, including that Krebs police were not given permission to search Weaver’s car.

The preliminary hearing was continued on Nov. 21 and Special District Judge Donnita Wynn sustained the defense demurrer to the preliminary hearing and dismissed the case.

On the same day, Judge Wynn dismissed another case for Fields and Pippin. In that case, Fields and Pippin were charged with possession of methamphetamine, and Fields was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

The pair had been arrested in August by a McAlester police officer who was directing traffic for an auto accident. When Fields disobeyed the officer’s directions to detour around the area, he was pulled over and questioned, according to a defense brief filed in the case.

Pippin was a passenger in the vehicle.

A preliminary hearing in the case was held Nov. 10, and it was continued on Nov. 21 after both defense attorneys filed documents in the case. That’s when Wynn ruled there was no probable cause to believe the crime was committed as charged and the case was dismissed.

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