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County Offical "Growing" Marijuana brushed off.. Evidence or Window deco?
    #441271 - 07/03/10 12:59 AM (7 years, 10 months ago)


July 2, 2010
Evidence, or window decoration? Pot plant in plain view

Mark Millican markmillican@daltoncitizen.com

CHATSWORTH — There it sat in a Courthouse Annex window, in plain view of passers-by and just across Fourth Avenue from the halls of justice known as the Murray County Courthouse — an almost three-foot lush marijuana plant, catching rays from daily exposure to the sun and growing.

The occupant of the office, County Marshal Clifford “Coot” Thompson, has had the plant since April 29 when it was 14-and-a-half inches tall, authorities said. It was collected as evidence in a case where Thompson served an eviction notice on behalf of a landlord, according to a Magistrate Court affidavit.

“I have advised him several different times to remove that (marijuana plant),” said Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran, who said on Thursday that Thompson “answers to the county commissioner” and just serves papers for his court.

Questioned about the marijuana growing one floor below his office, Sole Commissioner David Ridley replied, “I knew there was a pot plant growing down there, or sitting down there.”

Asked if he was OK with that, Ridley said he “questioned (Thompson) about that.”

“He said that it was evidence and I said, ‘Are you taking care of whatever needs to be taken care of on that?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’” Ridley said. “It’s not uncommon for marijuana or illegal narcotics to be at the sheriff’s office or the (police department). I know that he does not have an evidence room.”

Ridley said the exchange took place about three weeks ago. Cochran said it was two weeks ago when he received a complaint about the plant.

“I just told him if he was going to charge somebody he needed to charge them or put it into the evidence log at the evidence room at the sheriff’s department before someone broke the window and stole the plant,” Cochran said.

Ridley said as county marshal Thompson handles evictions, serves warrants and subpoenas, and transports prisoners, among other duties. Thompson did not return calls left at his office and his home Thursday afternoon.

Chief Deputy Ray Sitton said the journey of the pot plant began with the eviction in late April.

“Coot had been down to this man’s house and evicted him,” Sitton said. “The landlord was cleaning up and found the marijuana plant and called Coot and told him. Coot called the sheriff’s department to come down and get it. (Deputy) Jackie Head gets down there, and he calls Coot and says, ‘What do you want me to do with it? There is a marijuana plant down here.’ (Thompson) says, ‘Bring it by here to me and I’ll keep it as evidence and if the man comes by I’ll decide whether to make a case on him or not.’ So that’s where (the plant) has been.”

Sitton said Deputy Craig Cagle was getting a warrant signed on Thursday morning at the magistrate’s office when he passed by Thompson’s office next door.

“Coot said, ‘Hey, what about taking this plant up to the hospital and burning it for me (in their incinerator)?’” he related. “Craig says, ‘Well, I don’t know, I’ve got to take these warrants back (to the sheriff’s office) and I’ll have to check with the hospital because they only burn on certain days.’”

Detective Jim Whitehead with the Chatsworth Police Department said after he told Ridley that he had been shown a digital photo of the plant on Thursday that Ridley called Thompson to his office.

“Thompson explained he seized the marijuana from a residence on Hawkins Road and had no access to an evidence room to store the plant,” the police incident report said. “Thompson gave us a copy of the (eviction notice) for the residence. We have the marijuana plant in our evidence at the police department for disposal. He said he had no other place to store it, he was waiting for the sheriff’s department to pick it up.”

Sitton said if the plant had been logged into evidence at the sheriff’s office it would have eventually been destroyed, and that the department was not asked to come get the plant until Thursday morning.

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Re: County Offical "Growing" Marijuana brushed off.. Evidence or Window deco? [Re: grogan]
    #441354 - 07/03/10 09:25 AM (7 years, 10 months ago)

Even prohibitionist loves weed.

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Re: County Offical "Growing" Marijuana brushed off.. Evidence or Window deco? [Re: DungenessDank]
    #441546 - 07/03/10 03:50 PM (7 years, 10 months ago)

Looks to me like he had to water that thing like 15 times or more.. lol it looks decently healthy.. hes been "growing" the evidence..!!

Wonder if they are gonna smoke the evidence at the hosptial in a month or two.. this is so corrupt, with a cover up.

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