Medina County Courthouse

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jury Finds Defendant Guilty in Judge Kimbler's Court of Complicity to Commit Drug Trafficking

Raffael D. Lawson, of Jones Road in Litchfield, Ohio, was found guilty of two counts of complicity to commit drug trafficking in Judge Kimbler's court following a two day jury trial. The case began on Monday, January 25. The presentation of evidence took until Tuesday afternoon. The jury started deliberating on Tuesday afternoon and returned a verdict on Wednesday afternoon.

Originally Mr. Lawson was charged with a felony of the second degree and a felony of the first degree. At the conclusion of the State's case Mr. Lawson's attorney made a motion for a directed verdict on the first degree felony. The basis of the motion was that the State hadn't proved that the substance involved in that charge was a "controlled substance".

The evidence was that while a co-defendant of Mr. Lawson's, a Ms. Josephine Church, claimed that the substance was cocaine, in reality it did not contain cocaine. Judge Kimbler granted the motion, ruling that the stature required the State to prove that the substance was in fact a "controlled substance".

Since, however, offering to sell a controlled substance is a felony, Judge Kimbler only granted the motion for a directed verdict on the specification regarding the amount of cocaine. As a result, that charge became a fourth degree felony.

Following the reading of the two verdicts, Judge Kimbler remanded Mr. Lawson to the Medina County Jail while awaiting sentencing. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Sentence will be imposed at a later date.

No comments: