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Judge dismisses 2009 case

A woman convicted in District Court in 2010 won her appeal in Circuit Court on Monday.

In 2009, Missie Leigh Stroud was stopped by Clinton Police Officer Jennifer Miller after Miller observed Stroud’s vehicle swerving, according to testimony Monday.

Stroud was found guilty in 2010 of DUI, careless and prohibited driving and no proof of insurance. The outcome in Judge Charles Clawson’s courtroom Monday was different.

Miller testified that in 2009 she administered some field sobriety tests to Stroud then took her to the Van Buren County sheriff’s office for urine tests. Miller said the urinalysis showed a failed test, so she did a second test to send to the state Crime Lab.

Stroud’s attorney Richard Grasby asked Miller if she documented the time of the second test. Miller said it appeared she did not.

Leanne Hazard, a forensic scientist for the state Crime Lab, testified that she performed the urinalysis and detected the presence of three drugs, including amphetamine.

Under questioning from Grasby, Hazard said the test does not tell how much of the drugs are present and “can’t tell if anyone is impaired or not.”

Grasby made a motion to dismiss the case. The chemist’s testimony told nothing, Grasby said, and there might have been a hint or two of impairment, but that doesn’t remove all doubt.

“The field tests are what they are,” he said.

City attorney Matt Gilmore, who was prosecuting the case, said he had no response to Grasby’s motion.

Clawson, saying there were questions about the time frame and detail of the urine tests, granted Grasby’s motion to dismiss.

In other cases Monday:

- Janice Maier, 46, acknowledged she had violated conditions of her probation and was sentenced to 48 months in the Department of Correction. She was released until a bed becomes available or for two weeks to get her affairs in order.

- Rebecca Hardy, 26, was sentenced to 36 months probation after pleading guilty to drug and paraphernalia possession. She received a 12-month suspended sentence on a charge of theft of property.

Among cases scheduled for Oct. 11 were:

- John Brandon Kocher, 35, who faces several drug charges. There are issues as to probable cause, his attorney said.

- Steven Ray Nunley, 53, charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. He is now scheduled for pretrial Oct. 11.

- Shearmalein Brewer, 38, charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

- Patricia Knollenberg, 50, charged with battery-first degree and aggravated assault. An Act 3 psychiatric exam is pending, her lawyer’s office said.

A few defendants elected to wait until their attorney, public defender Ralph Blagg, returns to the courtroom. In his absence former Deputy Prosecutor Joe Don Winningham and public defender Robert Thacker filled in Monday.

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