The Charge: Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance

The Record: On Sept. 15, 2007, officers observed Eugene Howard “walking with another male who was holding a white cup.” After the defendant and his companion took notice of an unmarked police vehicle on the street, the defendant’s companion “dropped his cup…leading the officers to believe the subjects were engaged in illegal activity.” As the police drew closer, one officer “observed the defendant open his right hand and drop a blue zip containing a green weed like substance.…Near where the above zip was dropped another blue zip containing a green weed like substance was observed on the sidewalk.”

Convicted: 10/23/07

Please For Mercy

Lawyer: Please “allow my client to show the court that he is able to stay away from controlled substances, marijuana, and successfully complete probation, your honor,” says Colin M. Dunham, the defendant’s lawyer. Consider also: He’s had the same job for more than a year. (The defendant does have prior convictions, but this is his first drug-related arrest, according to other statements made in the courtroom.)

Defendant: “I’m not a violent man, not a threat to the community…I love my freedom, and I will do anything to keep my freedom, especially staying away from a controlled substance and trying to keep myself out of bad situations.” He says he’s trying to be “a better man” for his two young children. “Are you under court-ordered child support, sir?” asks Judge Jeanette Clark. “No, ma’am,” says Howard. “Me, my children, and the mother of my children” live together in a house in Northwest.


The Sentence: $50 to the Victims of Violent Crime Compensation Fund by Dec. 15. Four months of supervised probation, with special conditions to have drug and alcohol evaluations and treatment and testing “as deemed appropriate by CSOSA [Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency].” —Ruth Samuelson