Home News Local news ALLEGED DRUG ADDICT CONVICTED OF POSSESSION

ALLEGED DRUG ADDICT CONVICTED OF POSSESSION

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A 37-year-old man on trial for drug possession and assaulting police officers was convicted Wednesday in Territorial Court of two of four counts against him.
A 12-member jury found Miguel Francis guilty of cocaine and marijuana possession but acquitted him of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
The verdict was handed up around 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon after Judge Ive Arlington Swan sent the jury back to deliberate. Jurors had sent a message to the judge around midday that they were "hopelessly deadlocked" on one of the four counts. The government prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Lofton Holder, objected to Swan declaring a mistrial in the event that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on any of the counts.
Francis went on trial Monday; the jury received the case Tuesday afternoon.
Francis was initially arrested near the Clarysol Bar on Lower Main Street after police responded to a fatal shooting of 32-year-old Cormen Brazoban in May 1998. The scuffle between Francis and police began when he refused to leave the crime scene. It was as police scuffled with Francis that they discovered the drugs on him.
Francis had previously been charged in the killing but the government dismissed those charges.
Territorial Public Defender Leslie Payton said the case was one of selective prosecution. In closing remarks he said police picked on his client for prosecution but have continued to ignore the reports of drug sales, prostitution and other illicit activities. Holder argued that Francis is a drug addict who has been supporting a $60-a-day habit.
Swan set March 22 as the sentencing date for Francis, who is a Dominican Republic national.
Francis participated in the three-day trial through the use of a court-provided interpreter.

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