Jury finds woman not guilty

January 26, 2013

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A 23-year-old Hood County woman was found not guilty on Jan. 17 by a jury in 355th Judicial District Court in Granbury on a state jail felony count of possession of marijuana, District Attorney Rob Christian said.

Erica Michelle Gillum, who pleaded not guilty, was charged with possession of more than 5 ounces/less than 5 pounds of marijuana. She could have been facing between six months and two years in prison, or a probated sentence, if she had been convicted of the charge, according to Christian.

Both Christian and Gillum’s attorney Richard Hattox noted that a key to the prosecution’s case was whether or not Gillum lived in the same Thorp Springs Road residence as another defendant in the case. That defendant, Shawn Preston Hammonds, pleaded guilty to the same felony charge Gillum was facing and was sentenced to five years of probation on Oct. 9, 2012.

“I think the evidence was that Shawn Hammonds was more in control of the marijuana than she was,” Christian said. “The issue was whether she was living there.”

Christian said that deputies investigating the case had arrested someone leaving the house on a gun charge. A search warrant was obtained for the residence, Christian said, and the marijuana was found in a gun safe.

Hattox said the amount of marijuana found was approximately 4.2 pounds.

“The real question was whether or not she had possession,” Hattox said. “The state has to prove actual care, custody or control over it. They had to meet that burden.”

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