Pubdate: Thu, 29 Aug 00
Source: Plainview Daily Herald (TX)
Copyright: 2000 Plainview Daily Herald
Contact:  820 Broadway, Plainview, TX 79072
Author: Danny Andrews, Herald Editor


Immediately following a memorial service for his wife on Wednesday,
veteran Herald reporter Richard Orr was arrested at his Edmonson home
and charged with second-degree felony possession of marijuana.

Acting on an informant's tip, a state narcotics taskforce from Lubbock
- - accompanied by DPS troopers and other local law enforcement officers
- - met Orr at his gate moments after the funeral of his wife Jean
Sterns-Orr, who died last Saturday after a three-year battle with cancer.

He voluntarily took them to a barn at the rear of his property, where
they found 11 female marijuana plants. The amount of marijuana
involved or the value was not immediately determined.

Orr, 63, was charged with possession of between five and 50

He declined comment, other than to say he is "not a dealer" and had
been growing marijuana on and off the past several years for health

A reporter for The Herald since 1984, Orr, has covered city, county,
court and crime news and has often written columns advocating the
legalization of marijuana. He took early retirement in June to care
for his wife. Since then he has continued to work for The Herald on a
limited part-time basis.

A DPS spokesman said the arrest originally had been planned for
Wednesday morning, but was postponed when the Lubbock agents were
informed about the funeral.

He was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Kaye Phillips at the county
jail late Wednesday afternoon and freed on $10,000 bail.

The case is expected to go to the grand jury in September.

Felony possession carries a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence
of two to 20 years.

Herald Publisher Rollie Hyde said Orr would be placed on indefinite
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake