The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

October 31, 2013

Man found guilty on drug possession, not guilty on dealing charges

ANDERSON — A local man was convicted on cocaine possession charges, but avoided a much longer sentence after being found not guilty on dealing and habitual offender charges.

Marquise R. McCloud, 33, was found guilty of possession of cocaine, a Class A felony, after a two-day trial wrapped up on Wednesday. He was found not guilty of an additional charge of dealing cocaine, and Madison Circuit Court 4 Judge David Happe ruled McCloud was not eligible for an enhanced status of being a habitual offender.

According to a 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 on Feb. 25. 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 before 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.

Defense attorney Zaki Ali, who represented McCloud in the case, said he was pleased with the verdict despite the conviction because the result wasn't as bad as it could've been.

"With the dealing charge, he was looking at a maximum of 50 years on that, and with the habitual charge, he was looking at upward of 70 years, if not more," Ali said. "He's still looking at prison time, but not nearly the amount that was on the line."

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