ANDERSON — A trial for a man accused of dealing cocaine near a family housing complex started on Tuesday.
Marquise R. McCloud, 33, of Anderson, faces charges of possession of cocaine with intent to deal and an enhanced habitual offender charge for a Feb. 25 incident.
According to the probable cause affidavit of the case, McCloud was found with more than three grams of crack cocaine in the 2400 block of West 24th Street that night. Two officers, who were searching the neighborhood for another man wanted on a warrant, drove by a home in the area and saw McCloud and two other men in a driveway.
When the officers approached McCloud, he reportedly started digging through his pockets feverishly, as if he were trying to get something out. One of the officers, who had just arrested McCloud four days prior on another drug charge, believed McCloud was reaching for a weapon and started shouting for McCloud to raise his hands.
McCloud allegedly refused and kept digging in his pockets, and the officers drew their weapons and continued to command McCloud to raise his hands. He finally complied, and the officers found keys, a wallet, a cellphone and a bag filled with the crack cocaine. According to the affidavit, McCloud told the officers he had stolen the drugs from someone else.
Jury selection took up most of Tuesday’s court time, and an issue with one juror prompted defense attorney Zaki Ali to ask for a mistrial. Ali argued that the juror, a woman, willingly disclosed information that could have been damaging to McCloud’s case. The woman was replaced by another juror. The request was denied by Madison Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe, who said McCloud was in no peril of an unfair trial.
During opening arguments, deputy prosecutor Andrew Hopper described the incident as reported in the affidavit, and called the area near the arrest a hotbed of drug activity. Ali said McCloud was cooperative with police from the beginning and had no intention of dealing the drugs.
The trial is expected to resume this morning with testimony from the arresting officers.
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