Jury Gives Louisiana Man the Max, LIVINGSTON, December 7, 2016 - On Tuesday December 7, 2016 a Polk County jury took less than 20 minutes to return a unanimous punishment verdict of the maximum of 10 years in prison for 25 year old Jamarcus Markray. Markray, a Ruston, Louisiana native, had been found guilty by the same jury earlier that day of the third degree felony offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Onalaska police officer David Hernandez testified that in December of 2014, while working for Corrigan PD, he conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle bearing Louisiana license plates. Hernandez said he became suspicious when the driver of the vehicle, Jamarcus Markray, did not produce a drivers license and lied about his true identity. Hernandez, who happened to be certified in the handling of a dog trained to detect narcotics, used his K9 partner to determine if the vehicle contained any controlled substances. After the K9 “alerted” on the vehicle, Hernandez searched it and discovered cocaine, xanax, ecstasy, a digital scale, 2 handguns and a set of Texas license plates. While none of the four occupants claimed ownership of the items, a search of Markray at the jail yielded additional ecstasy pills. Hernandez told the jury that the extra set of what he characterized as “throw down plates” gave him concern because it was likely the plan to use the vehicle in some criminal activity and utilize the extra plates to avoid surveillance cameras.
During the punishment phase of the trial, the Assistant District Attorney handling the case, Tommy Coleman, introduced evidence that Markray recently had his probation for burglary revoked in Louisiana and somehow avoided serving any jail time as a result. According to Markray, who testified during the punishment phase of the trial, Louisiana officials simply had “written off” his probation. “I don’t know how they do things in Louisiana, but I think it is fair to say this jury was not inclined to write off this case,” stated Coleman. Coleman went on to say that, “Officer Hernandez did an outstanding job and not only did he get a bad guy off the street, he likely prevented the commission of future crimes.”
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