Stoudamire heads to court
- Janine Robben
- Portland Tribune - News
Grand jury apparently indicts Blazer in marijuana possession case
Damon Stoudamire has a court date Thursday in Clackamas County after a grand jury's apparent decision to indict the Portland Trail Blazers guard in connection with the pound of marijuana found in his house in February.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Dave Paul, who announced next week's court appearance, declined to say Thursday whether Stoudamire was indicted.
According to Oregon statute, grand jury indictments are confidential and can't be inspected by anyone except judicial or law enforcement officials until the person indicted is arrested.
If Stoudamire were indicted, he probably would be booked and fingerprinted after his court appearance instead of being taken into custody before then.
The case is being handled by Clackamas County prosecutor Steven Griffin, who has a reputation as an aggressive prosecutor. Griffin also handled Blazer guard Isaiah Rider's 1997 conviction for possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana.
An indictment would leave Stoudamire with limited choices. He could plead guilty to the charge; seek to enter a plea of no contest, in which he would not admit guilt but would acknowledge that the state would be able to prove its case if it went to trial; attempt to obtain an offer to plead to a lesser charge; or go to trial.
If convicted of possession of more than 1 ounce of marijuana, a Class B felony, he would face criminal penalties Ñ including incarceration, fines and a term of parole or probation Ñ and the NBA's disciplinary process.
According to a Tribune source who requested anonymity, the case began Feb. 23 when officers from the Lake Oswego Police Department responded to a burglar alarm at Stoudamire's residence.
They entered through an unlocked door and reported finding approximately 1 pound of marijuana. Stoudamire was not home, and numerous people had unrestricted access to the residence, from which he was moving at the time.
Proof that the marijuana was in his house is not enough to convict him of possessing it; the prosecutor must prove that the drugs belonged to Stoudamire, as opposed to someone else with access to the house.
The fact that the case is proceeding most likely means that the district attorney's office has evidence such as Stoudamire's fingerprints on the drug's packaging, an admission from him or a statement from a credible person with personal knowledge of the drug's ownership.