by Vincent Lupo, American Press
A sleight of hand card trick and conflicting evidence regarding the description of a drug dealer apparently contributed to the acquittal this week of a Lake Charles man accused of selling cocaine to an undercover agent 17 months ago.
Jurors returned a not guilty verdict against , 29, of Drive, Apt. following a three-day trial. Judge Charley Quienalty presided.
a three-time convicted felon, was a accused of selling four rocks of crack cocaine to an undercover agent in April of 1993. According to trial testimony the agent asked a co-defendant, , if he had any drugs to sell. found out how much the agent wanted, walked across the street near the intersection of Franklin and Mill and obtained four rocks of crack cocaine from another man standing near a tree.
returned to the agent where the exchange of drugs and money allegedly took place, according to offense reports filed in the record. admitted he had shared in the money for arranging the deal. He was arrested immediately following the transaction.
did not testify at the trial. Assistant District Attorney David Kimball said charges are still pending against who is listed as a fugitive.
The agent positively identified Davis in the courtroom as the man from whom obtained the drugs. He admitted he had not seen that man since the transaction occurred 17 months ago.
Defense attorneys Glen Vamvoras and Stacy Moreau claimed police had the wrong person. They pointed out numerous inconsistencies in the description of the suspect.
During his closing arguments, Vamvoras used a sleight of hand card trick to emphasize his point that things are not always as they appear. The trick involved the selection of two cards – a numeral card of one red suit and a numeral card of one black suit.
At the end of the trick Vamvoras exposed what is purported to be the selected cards. The cards have the same numerals and suits but the suits and numerals are switched. Most people believe the cards are the ones they selected, just because the numbers and colors of the suits are the same.
He argued the agent saw someone near the tree that day but it was not .