Cox found guilty by jury

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

By Karen Hall

Editor

A jury deliberated for more than four hours before finding Marcus T. Cox Jr., 21, guilty after a drug trial last week.

There were seven charges against Cox. He was found guilty of possession of less than 0.5 gram of cocaine with intent to sell it; guilty of possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana with intent to sell and deliver it; guilty of simple possession of a Schedule III drug (Lortab); guilty of possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia (digital scales); and guilty of possession of a firearm with intent to go armed during the commission of a dangerous felony.

Cox was found guilty of the lesser included charge of attempted possession of cocaine with intent to deliver it.

The jury also exercised its right to determine fines in the case. The fines were set at $50,000 on the cocaine charge, $6,000 on the marijuana; $1,000 on the simple possession; $500 on the paraphernalia; and $5,000 on the weapons charge.

Cox will be sentenced on March 5.

He was indicted on these charges in October 2012, and the Public Defender's Office was appointed to represent him. The case was originally set for trial in May 2013, but postponed twice. Sometime in the summer of 2012, the Public Defender's Office discovered they were also representing a possible co-defendant of Cox's, and were allowed to withdraw from the case. In August, James R. Tucker Jr. of Shelbyville was appointed to represent Cox, but he had to be given time to prepare, so the trial was set for Jan. 9, 2014.

That day, the trial was stopped before jury selection was finished because a crucial witness was not available to testify.

Rescheduled for Jan. 29 and 30, the trial was finally completed, with the jury giving their verdict about 10 p.m.

Earlier this month Cox was indicted on new charges that he attempted to induce two people in the jury pool for his trial to pretend they didn't know him so they could, hopefully, be selected for the jury and influence other jurors in his favor. With one person, Cox merely tried persuasion, but with the second he allegedly offered money.

When Cox was arraigned on these charges on Jan. 22, Tucker pointed out that since he was allegedly the one who showed Cox the list of jurors, he might have to be a witness, and thus could not also be Cox's lawyer in the case.

Judge Forest Durard Jr. then appointed James Frazier, Lewisburg's assistant city attorney, to represent Cox.