Pubdate: Fri, 28 Jul 2006
Source: Winston-Salem Journal (NC)
Copyright: 2006 Piedmont Publishing Co. Inc.
Note: The Journal does not publish LTEs from writers outside its 
circulation area
Author: Michael Hewlett
Bookmark: (Marijuana)
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


Not Enough Evidence to Convict, He Rules

A former deputy in the Davie County Sheriff's Office was acquitted
yesterday of misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Kevin Lee Adams, 25, was charged as the result of an investigation by
the State Bureau of Investigation last year.

Adams had been accused of taking marijuana that he and another deputy
had seized in a drug case to his girlfriend's house. He told
investigators that he had disposed of the marijuana by throwing it
into a trash can at the house.

Judge J. Keaton Fonvielle of District Court ruled after a three-hour
trial that there was not enough evidence of criminal intent to convict

Adams' case was part of the second SBI investigation involving the
sheriff's office in the past year. A third SBI investigation resulted
in a 15-count indictment this week against former Detective Robert
Trotter, who is accused of taking more than $12,000, 11 guns and a
diamond-ring set from the evidence room he oversaw.

In Adams case, Assistant District Attorney Terry Meinecke argued that
Adams knew that it was wrong to take the marijuana and discard it on
his own, and that law-enforcement officers should be held to the same
standards as everyone else.

"He knew he wasn't supposed to dispose of the evidence," he

According to testimony yesterday, Adams and another deputy, Kelly Ann
Marshall, responded to a call at Bermuda Run Country Club late on July
1, 2005. Marshall arrested two of three people she found in a black
Jeep Cherokee after seizing three bags of marijuana.

She testified that while she was writing a citation against the
driver, Adams told her not to charge the driver because he had
cooperated with the deputies. She and Adams then drove back to the
Davie County Jail in separate cars with the two men who were arrested.

The driver was freed before they left.

Marshall testified that when they were outside the jail early the next
day, just before the end of Adams' shift, he told her to dispose of
the bag of marijuana that had been linked to the driver.

She said she refused.

Adams testified during cross-examination that he disposed of the
marijuana at his girlfriend's house. He eventually brought the
marijuana back to the sheriff's office after being asked to do so by
Sgt. Terry Myers, the second-shift supervisor.

Carl Parrish, Adams' attorney, said that the case was a waste of the
court's time. He argued that Meinecke had no evidence that Adams had
any criminal intent and that Marshall and Adams were simply rookies
who mishandled evidence.

At the time of the incident, Marshall had been with the department for
about five weeks, and Adams had worked there for about a year.

"This madness needs to end," Parrish said. "These kids aren't
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