Indictments handed down

Friday, March 26, 2010

The grand jury handed down various indictments last week.

Indictment does not mean a person is guilty. That's determined by a trial or by a guilty plea.

* Ociel Morales Carrillo was originally indicted last October, on charges of criminal aggravated rape, aggravated assault and aggravated burglary. In a separate indictment Morales is accused of committing identity theft "by obtaining, possessing, buying or using the personal information of another." In this case, it's someone known to federal immigration agents.

According to public records, Morales allegedly stalked his victim for a week, broke into her apartment and tried to rape her at knifepoint in May 2009. She struggled and bit him, forcing him to flee. He was arrested the next day and has been in custody ever since. Morales' court-appointed attorney, Christopher Westmoreland, provided documents from Mexico proving Morales was a juvenile at the time of the crime, so the case was moved to Juvenile Court. Judge Steve Bowden then ordered Morales tried as an adult, so fresh indictments were required.

Westmoreland was unable to continue with the case, so at arraignment last week Circuit Court Judge Robert Crigler appointed Kevin Latta to represent Morales. After waiving formal reading of the indictments and entering a plea of not guilty, Latta retired to the jury room with his new client and the official translator to begin preparing a defense. * Steven J. Craig, 33, of Manchester, was indicted on charges of initiation of the process of manufacture of methamphetamine; possession of more than nine grams of methamphetamine precursor with intent to manufacture; promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to documents in the case file, on Nov. 5, agents of the 17th Judicial District Drug Task Force performed a consensual search at a property on Verona Caney Road and found a duffel bag containing men's clothing and items used to manufacture methamphetamine: ammonium nitrate, lye, hydrogen peroxide, syringes, lithium batteries, a funnel, pliers, coffee filters, wire cutters, and several glass and plastic containers. Craig admitted the clothes were his, but denied knowledge of the other items.

A story in the Nov. 11 Tribune states that two suspects in a counterfeiting case in Coffee County told law enforcement where to find their colleague Craig and his "portable meth lab." Craig will be represented by the Public Defender's Office.

* Wesley David Cloud, 37, of John Lunn Road (Milltown Road and Coble Drive are also listed as his address on documents in the case file) had his arraignment rescheduled for April 7 because his lawyer was not able to be in court last week. Cloud is charged with introduction of Schedule II and Schedule VI controlled substances into a penal institution; possession of those drugs in a penal institution; possession of methamphetamine; driving on a revoked license; promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine; and failure to appear in General Sessions Court.