Judge sets Sept. 29 for arguments, possible trial for Stoudamire
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Portland Trail Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire may stand trial Sept. 29 on drug charges, depending on the outcome of arguments that day over a motion to suppress evidence.
Defense attorneys Steve Houze and Michael Piccarreta will seek to convince a Pima County Justice Court judge to suppress evidence stemming from a search of Stoudamire on July 3 at Tucson International Airport, while Assistant County Attorney Bruce Chalk will try to ensure the evidence can be used.
Stoudamire was stopped as he prepared to board a flight to New Orleans after setting off an airport metal detector. Authorities contend that he had rolling papers and a substance wrapped in aluminum foil determined to be almost 1.5 ounces of marijuana in his possession.
Stoudamire told officers that the drug was marijuana -- and was his, according to a police report.
He was charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, and was released on his own recognizance.
Stoudamire and his lawyers waived a July 25 court appearance, entering an innocent plea.
Rick Unkelsbay, chief criminal attorney for the Pima County Attorney's Office, said Stoudamire could be sentenced to unsupervised probation and up to $2,500 in fines if convicted. But he said similar charges usually result in fines of about $200.
Piccarreta said he is challenging the legality of the warrantless search of the package that turned out to be marijuana. The suppression request will be heard Sept. 29.
Stoudamire has been arrested twice before on drug charges, but Unkelsbay said he does not have any previous convictions.
A case in Oregon was dismissed after evidence was suppressed, and Stoudamire is in a diversion program in Washington state in another case, he said.
Stoudamire and a teammate, Rasheed Wallace, were passengers in a vehicle stopped last November for speeding outside Chehalis, Wash. Police said a search of the vehicle turned up a small amount of marijuana, and Stoudamire agreed to attend drug and alcohol counseling and stay out of legal trouble for a year to have misdemeanor charges dropped.
He would face at least one day in jail if convicted of the Tucson charges.
A judge in Oregon barred authorities from using a large bag of marijuana found in his home while they responded to a burglar alarm. The search was illegal, the judge said.
After his Tucson arrest, the Trail Blazers suspended Stoudamire pending "a satisfactory response to these matters."
Stoudamire was in Tucson attending summer school at the University of Arizona toward completing an undergraduate degree. He left school in 1995 without finishing.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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