Texas Jury Sentences Houston Man to 80 Years for Drug Charge
A Houston man accused of trying to throw out a bag containing 16 grams of cocaine before a traffic stop was sentenced to 80 years in prison by a jury in Upshur County, Texas.
It all started when Anwar Lamon Holmes, 46, was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper for throwing a beer can from his vehicle, cracking the windshield of another car.
The driver with the broken windshield dialed 911, following Holmes until police arrived, according to the Upshur County District Attorney's Office's press release on November 14.
As a Texas DPS trooper investigated the incident, Holmes attempted to hide a bag of cocaine under his vehicle and was later found to be intoxicated and arrested.
When the trooper inventoried Holmes' car, he discovered the bag of cocaine, which weighed 16.4 grams and had an estimated street value of $1,600.
"As I continue to meet the citizens of Upshur County at various community events, the number one question I am asked is what we plan to do with those who bring drugs into our community," Assistant District Attorney Sarah Cooper said in the release.
"Today, twelve citizens answered that question for me. We do not tolerate the distribution of death and poison in Upshur County, and those who continue to deal in it will not find mercy here."
Relatives of Holmes described him as a hard-working truck driver and a loving man.
Holmes' wife, Tunisha Holmes, said she felt her husband didn't get a fair trial since the jury consisted of 11 white jurors and one black juror.
"I just feel he didn't have a fair trial from day one, because you had 11 white jurors and one black juror," she said.
The family says the sentence doesn't fit the crime and is asking for the conviction to be overturned.
"An 80-year sentence, a justifiable 80-year sentence for a drug possession? Maybe for a kingpin, maybe for El Chapo," community activist Deric Muhammad said about the sentence.
During the punishment phase of Holmes' trial, the state argued Holmes deserved a long sentence since he'd been previously convicted of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver and assault on a public servant, according to KXXV.