The Richmond Register

Crime

September 23, 2013

Judge rules evidence admissible in meth-making case

One defendant faces 20 years to life in prison

RICHMOND — After a suppression hearing Friday morning, a Madison Circuit judge ruled that two Berea police officers acted within the bounds of law when they approached two men who had reportedly spilled pills on the ground outside Walmart.

On Sept. 13, 2012, James Young, 36, and Donnie Marcum, 54, were found to be in possession of methamphetamine along with several items used in to make the illegal drug, according to a Berea police report.

Marcum later was indicted by a Madison County grand jury on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree possession of a controlled substance and first-degree persistent felony offender, which means he had previously been convicted of a felony.

The PFO enhances the manufacturing methamphetamine charge, which normally carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. If convicted, Marcum faces 20 to 50 years or life in prison.

Young could serve up to 20 years in prison if he is found guilty because he does not have a prior felony conviction.

At issue during the hearing, brought about by a motion from Marcum’s attorney Tim Despotes, was whether the two Berea police officers had probable cause to approach Marcum and Young’s vehicle and ask for their ID. If Judge William G. Clouse had ruled they did not have a legal basis to approach the truck, then evidence they found afterward would not be admissible.

“Is spilling pills a crime?” Despotes asked the hearing’s sole witness, BPD Detective Daniel McGuire.

Despotes said items the anonymous caller saw spill onto the ground could easily have been Tic Tac mints or Flintstone vitamins.

“Being clumsy is not a crime,” Despotes said.

McGuire testified that an anonymous caller had phoned BPD Capt. Ken Clark and said two men were seen in the Berea Walmart parking lot who had dropped pills on the ground. Clark then contacted dispatch, and McGuire and another officer were sent to investigate.

The officers were able to find a vehicle that matched the description and license plate provided by the caller. The truck was unoccupied, so the officers waited for the men to return.

McGuire said the call about the pills led him to believe the driver could be intoxicated, so he and the officer approached the men when they returned to the truck.

“(McGuire) can’t do his job as a police officer and let people get in vehicles possibly impaired,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Smith said.

McGuire said the men were noticeably observant of their surroundings and had their “heads on a swivel,” which also made him suspicious.

The men gave police permission to search them and their vehicles. McGuire also said he noticed that Young was so nervous he was shaking when he handed the officer his driver’s license.

The officers found plastic bags with white residue on Young, which later was determined to be meth. Marcum had a vial with bags of meth inside, according to the BPD report.

Inside the car, the officers reported finding a stripped lithium battery and two boxes of Sudafed, items commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Clouse said one of the standards he must use to form his judgement was whether the officer’s testimony seemed “genuine and believable.”

He said McGuire’s testimony did meet that standard.

Based on the totality of factors – the anonymous call, the description of the vehicle and license plate, and the unusually observant and nervous behavior of the men – the officers did have probable cause to approach Young and Marcum, the judge ruled.

The officers had “every right” to walk up to the parked truck and ask for ID, Clouse said.

Marcum and Young are set to stand trial Nov. 4. Neither defendant was present for the suppression hearing.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

 

1
Text Only
Crime
  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Madison County inmate dies in Lexington hospital

    An inmate at the Madison County Detention Center died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital, according to officials with the Fayette County Coroner’s Office and Madison County EMS.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 Melissa Lear.jpg BPD charge two in Richmond heroin-trafficking case

    Berea police arrested two women April 10 in a Richmond home in connection with heroin possession and trafficking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • $250,000 wrecker stolen

    A representative of Barger’s Wrecking Service, North Porter Drive, reported to Richmond police Sunday that a black, 1996 Peterbilt wrecker with company logos on it was stolen from the business’ parking lot. The wrecker is valued at $250,000, according to the police report.

    April 15, 2014

  • Man involved in double slaying dies in prison

    A Richmond man who pleaded guilty in 2009 to participating in a double slaying in Lincoln County died in prison Monday.

    Neccolus Mundy, 32, died less than a week after being found unresponsive in his cell at Northpoint Training Center, according to The Associated Press.

    April 11, 2014

  • Two charged with prostitution and indecent exposure

    Two people were charged Wednesday evening after they were observed engaging in sexual activity related to prostitution in public, according to Richmond police.

    April 10, 2014

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results