Judge rules against motion to remand Lil' Wayne case
Rapper Lil Wayne is still facing the most serious of the four felony charges against him after his attorneys failed to have the charge remanded back to the Grand Jury.
Yuma attorney James Tilson and Tucson attorney Natman Schaye filed the motion of behalf of their client, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.
Carter has been charged with one count each of possession of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of dangerous drugs, misconduct involving weapons and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.
In their motion, which was based on the misconduct with weapons charge, Tilson and Schaye argued the Grand Jury was not given all the elements involved in the alleged offense, and that led to an errorneous finding of probable cause.
Superior Court Judge Mark Wayne Reeves, who is presiding over the case, denied the motion on Tuesday afternoon after hearing oral arguments from both the defense attorneys and prosecutor Deann Sandry.
Reeves said he based his decision on having read the Grand Jury transcripts as to what the factual basis of the offense was, the statutes the offense fell under and that there is a different standard of finding of probable cause between a trial jury and a Grand Jury.
Tilson and Schaye said after the hearing, which was held in Yuma County Superior Court, that had they been successful in getting the weapons charge remanded back to the Grand Jury, the other three charges would have been sent back as well.
The attorneys said that without the weapons charge, Carter, if found guilty of the remaining drug charges could be "Prop 200" eligible, meaning he would receive probation since it would be a first-time drug offense.
Carter, who was not present for the afternoon hearing, appeared at a hearing held earlier the same morning.
The judge waived his appearance for the afternoon hearing and ordered he be present for his next court date, which is scheduled for June 23 at 8:30 a.m.
"I'm not trying to make him do anything different then any other defendant before this court," Reeves said. "He is not 'Lil Wayne' here, he is Dwayne Carter."
The rapper's tour bus was stopped Jan. 22, 2008 at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Dateland, 78 miles east of Yuma.
A search of the bus by Drug Enforcement Administration agents yielded nearly four ounces of marijuana, just over an ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of Ecstasy and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. DEA agents then arrested Carter.
Officials also found a .40-caliber pistol registered to Carter, who has a concealed weapons permit in Florida.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.