(BEDFORD) – The jury has begun deliberations in the trial of 43-year-old Scott Afanador, of Bloomington, in Lawrence County Superior Court I.
The jury began deliberating at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Afanador is facing charges of dealing meth over 10 grams, possession of meth over 28 grams, and unlawful possession of a syringe.
Judge John Plummer III is presiding over the trial.
Sam Arp. is prosecuting the case for the State. Denise Turner and Public Defender Bruce Andis are representing Afanador.
Afanador was arrested in November 2019 along with three other people when a Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department deputy stopped the driver of an SUV on State Road 37 at the Sinclair service station for a traffic violation.
During that search, officers found a crystal substance that tested positive for meth, a hand-rolled marijuana cigarette, 110 grams of meth, syringes, and fentanyl test kits.
Also arrested were 36-year-old Christopher Lynch, of Vincennes; 28-year-old Tiffany Purtlebaugh, of Bloomington; and 40-year-old Timothy Whaley, of Bedford. They are facing the same charges as Afanador.
The final witness of the day was Indiana State Police Detective Josh Allen with the Drug Enforcement Section.
Detective Allen testified about meth activity and how often meth dealers work in groups.
“Oftentimes they will pool their money together to purchase a larger amount. They can get it (meth) cheaper if they buy in bulk,” he added.
Detective Allen testified the drug world is not a “trustworthy world.”
Allen added how the cost of meth has dramatically increased in the last year. A pound of meth in 2019 cost around $100, based on where the drug was purchased. Detective Allen testified it was cheaper to buy the drug in a city like Louisville or Indianapolis.
The defense then clarified with Detective Allen that 89 grams of meth in 2019 would cost around $8,900. However, according to testimony by Timothy Whaley, Afanador allegedly purchased 89 grams for around $845.
The jury heard testimony from Whaley that he set up the purchase of meth with his cousin. Whaley witnessed the purchase, saw Afanador put the drug in his pocket, and gave Afanador the Crown Royal bag to put it in, then the drug was hidden in the dash.
Presenting closing arguments for the state was Prosecutor Ryne Koucouthakis.
Did Afanador intend to sell the drug? Did he purchase a dealer’s quantity?
“He drove to Kentucky with three other people with the intent to purchase 89 grams of meth and bring it back to Southern Indiana to sell to other people,” Koucouthakis added.
However Defense Attorney Dennis Turner said during closing Afanador was only guilty by association.
“That isn’t enough – that is all this case is and that isn’t enough,” Turner added. “Scott was found with no drugs, syringes, or money on him.”
She questioned the actions of Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Mike Williams who testified he smelled a large amount of marijuana coming from the vehicle when he stopped. So much so that he got a “contact high.”
But no large amount of marijuana was found.
“He searched the vehicle with no gloves, contaminating the evidence,” she added. “He was so focused on arresting someone he tainted the entire investigation.”
She said Deputy Williams bragged about the arrests.
“Everyone in the vehicle was a dope dealer. Everyone was going to jail. Everyone was going to prison,” added Turner.
She told the jury they could not take the word of a man (Whaley) facing 50 years in prison.
“Why didn’t the others (Lynch and Purtlebaugh) testify?” Turner added.
She told the jury Whaley sat in jail for 9 months and then decided he “wants to clear his conscious.”
Turner told the jury Whaley was released from jail, violated the conditions, and then released again.
“He is facing 50 years – he would do and say anything he can to not go back to prison,” she added. “He is a liar.”
“They (the prosecution) could prove if they were in Louisville. They could have got GPS from everyone’s cell phone. they didn’t.”
She confirmed Detective Allen’s testimony that the “its an untrustworthy world.”
“Purchasing $9,000 worth of meth for $845 doesn’t make sense,” she added. “Whaley said what he said so he could go home.”