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Last updated on Friday, September 30, 2011
(BEDFORD) - After about two hours of deliberations, 32-year-old, Jason M. Fields was found guilty of two counts of dealing methamphetamine, Thursday night
Fields could be sentence up to 20 years and fined $10,000 for each count.
When the jury entered the courtroom to deliver their verdict, Judge William Sleva realized he did not provide jurors with verdict forms.
Sleva apologized to the jury, gave the forms to the jury foreman, and the jury left the courtroom.
Defense Attorney John Plummer Jr. immediately asked for a mistrial, his third request, because the jury deliberated without having verdict forms.
Sleva denied the motion.
Plummer then asked for a mistrial because when the jury entered the courtroom with their verdict, but no forms, they saw an overwhelming police presence.
Judge Sleva agreed the jury should not have seen such a "mass of police officers" in the courtroom.
"I agree, police presence should be kept to a minimum, but I don't think they (jurors) will be influenced by it," Sleva says "They had a verdict when they entered the courtroom, just not the forms and that verdict will not change or be based on officers being in the courtroom, so I deny your request for a mistrial."
The jury returned to the courtroom with the signed verdict forms.
Sleva polled each juror is they agreed with the verdict and asked if not having the forms changed their verdicts. All 12 jurors replied "no".
Plummer asked that sentencing be set within 30 days.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tim Sledd says he was pleased with the verdict.
"Our officers do a good job and work diligently to combat the drugs eroding our county. This verdict is a sign of success," Sledd says.
Plummer would not comment on the verdict.
Fields took the stand in his own defense Thursday morning. Fields testified that he did buy the drugs for the confidential informant (CI), but he did not keep any of the drugs or pay for the drugs.
The informant is not being identified because of the risk of physical harm.
According to a probable cause affidavit on April 4 and March 6, Bedford Police officers used a (CI) to make a drug purchase from Fields.
Police say they gave the informant marked money and equipped the person with a recording device. They also followed the informant and watched parts of the drug transactions.
Plummer maintained through the trial that police entrapped his client by using a CI to set up the drug buys.
Plummer says the money to purchase the drug was given to the CI by police. The CI set up the drug buy and then asked Fields to make the purchase. Once the drug was purchased the CI was handed the drug and he then took it to police. Plummer says his client didn't make any money off the purchase nor did he keep any of the drug and that is entrapment.
Fields testified that he was living with the CI, and that the CI repeatedly badgered him to get him meth. Fields did not know the man he lived with was a CI.
"He (CI) would keep calling me or texting wanting me to get him meth," Fields says. "I didn't have the number to call Shawn. (CI) gave it to me. (CI) came and picked me up at his house, we drove to the Citgo station. I walked to the Budget Inn room 21, got the drugs and walked back to the car and gave (CI) the dope."
Fields told the jury he finally moved out of the CI's home because he keep pestering him to buy drugs.
After Fields' testimony, Plummer and Sledd addressed the jury with closing arguments and the jury began deliberations.
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