Martez Mitchell Found Guilty Of 2 Federal Felony Charges

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Federal Court jury deliberated all day Tuesday before finding former Tyner High School football star Martez Mitchell guilty of both felony charges he faced.

Mitchell, who was a Mr. Football finalist as a linebacker in 2006, was found guilty of drug trafficking and using a gun in connection with drug trafficking.

He will be sentenced on March 22 at 9 a.m. by Judge Curtis Collier.

Prosecutor Chris Poole said Mitchell faces up to five years on the drug charge and a minimum five years on the gun case. The latter charge will be consecutive to the drug count.

He was taken into custody after the jury verdict came in at 5:30 p.m.

Mitchell a couple of weeks ago had agreed to plead guilty and was almost at the end of the hearing when he backed out on the deal.

He went before the jury on Monday to claim he was framed when he was arrested in October 2010 as an armed drug dealer.

Mitchell told the jury that a Glock handgun was placed by officers on his bed near several bags of marijuana that were on a dresser nearby.

Three people who were playing poker at Mitchell's house at the time of the narcotics raid testified in his behalf.

ATF Agent Marnie Musgrave testified that Mitchell admitted he had the gun for protection, saying he had previously been robbed.

She said Mitchell told of buying marijuana regularly from a man named Terrell Taylor and once going with Taylor to Arizona to make a purchase.

Lee Wolfe, city police narcotics officer, said he went into Mitchell's bedroom and saw the gun and three bags of marijuana "in plain view".

Detectives also found in the bedroom a Glock gun case and holster in a nightstand, Mitchell's ID and wallet with $400 cash, two more bags of marijuana inside a par of his pants and two sets of digital scales in the nightstand. A total of 2.1 pounds of marijuana was seized.

Prosecutor Poole said agents had been making "controlled buys" from a man confidential informants knew as "Tez".

He said Mitchell had a permit for the Glock, but he said he lied on the application form when he denied that he used marijuana.

Defense attorney Anthony Martinez said Mitchell is addicted to marijuana, but he said there was no proof he used a weapon in drug trafficking.

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