NASHVILLE – A Murfreesboro man arrested late last month on drug charges entered a no contest plea to the allegations Wednesday during Howard County Circuit Court.
Marcus Ross, 31, was sentenced to 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with four suspended on a charge of possessing marijuana with purpose to distribute enhanced by proximity to certain facilities. A second charge of possessing drug paraphernalia was dismissed.
Ross was arrested March 21 by city officer Greg Parker following a brief foot chase near the Graves Street apartments. Police reports allege Parker had prior knowledge that Ross had been banned from the property, prompting him to approach the suspect, who was observed throwing items on the ground before fleeing. Following his apprehension, the recovered items were identified as drug paraphernalia and more than 14 grams of a substance Police Chief Dale Pierce said visually resembled heroin.
Assistant Chief Amy Marion said Friday that, while the substance remains at the Arkansas State Crime Lab for testing, the suspect later admitted to officers it was actually marijuana.
In unrelated court news Wednesday, Circuit Judge Tom Cooper accepted guilty pleas from a number of other defendants:
• Ansley Landtroop, 32, of Mineral Springs, was sentenced to five years of probation and fined $1,500 after pleading guilty to a charge of possessing a controlled substance, while additional drug charges were nolle prossed.
• Willie Munn, 38, of Ozan, was sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with two suspended after pleading guilty to felony possession of drug paraphernalia, while additional counts of possessing cocaine and driving on a suspended license were dismissed or nolle prossed.
• Christopher Newton, 36, of Lewisville, was sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with three suspended and ordered to pay $241.34 in restitution after pleading guilty to second degree forgery.
Other court action included a first appearance by 30 year old Jeffrey Shelton, of Nashville, whose bond was set at $15,000 on charges of residential burglary and third degree battery, and an independent mental evaluation scheduled for 54 year old Everett Davis, of Murfreesboro, who faces allegations of possessing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.