Humes convicted on drug charges
Jury opts for lesser charges
Saturday, March 16, 2013 5:00 AM
A jury of 10 women and two men convicted Edward L. Humes Jr. on drug charges Friday after more than three hours of deliberation.
Humes, 51, was convicted of possession of cocaine - a Class D felony - possession of a synthetic cannabinoid and resisting law enforcement.
Madison police arrested Humes in October 2011, after officers approached him and believed he was acting strangely. Officers found a pill bottle containing five plastic bags of cocaine and later found five pills that tested positive for methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a type of synthetic drug.
Prosecutors had charged Humes with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, alleging that Humes was dealing the drugs officers located on him.
Jurors are given the option of convicting someone of what's known as a lesser-included offense. These are elements of a crime that are also found in more serious offenses, but they are also lacking certain elements of the more serious crime.
To convict Humes on the original count, prosecutors had to prove that Humes knowingly or intentionally possessed cocaine with the intent to deliver. The lesser-included offense of possession of cocaine simply needed to prove that Humes knowingly or intentionally possessed cocaine.
Prosecutors relied heavily on text messages found on Humes' phone and testimony from Lt. Det. Jonathon Simpson about the characteristics of drug users versus drug dealers.
One text from Humes to another person said, "got 10 more," which Chief Deputy Prosecutor D.J. Mote said meant that Humes had just obtained 10 more MDPV pills he was trying to sell.
The second text from Humes said "what's the ticket," which Mote said was a coded way of asking how much the drugs would cost. The reply text said "200," which Simpson testified is how much five bags of cocaine could be sold for.
Mote said he believed Humes had purchased drugs earlier in the night and was going to sell them.
Simpson testified that several of Humes' actions were contrary to those of drug users. For example, Simpson said users typically don't carry around multiple drug packages and large sums of cash. Officers found $3,265 in Humes' pockets at the time he was arrested.
"Users don't carry $3,265 in their pocket," Mote said during his closing argument. "This money is proceeds from drug sales."
Simpson also testified that most drug users stick to one type of drug and wouldn't carry around two different kinds of drugs.
But Simpson also testified that cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and someone with a long history of cocaine use might be able to go through five bags of cocaine on his or her own.
Steven Beardsley, Humes' attorney, said there was a lot of speculation in the prosecution's arguments to lead to the belief that Humes was a dealer.
The text that read "got 10 more" had no punctuation on the end, which Beardsley said is common among texts these days. The statement could be read as a question, wanting to find out if the other person had 10 of something to sell.
Beardsley also pointed out that it was presumptive to assume the $3,265 came from drug sales. No one asked Humes where the money came from, he said, so it shouldn't be speculated upon.
Humes was also found guilty of being a habitual substance offender. He had a 1989 conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a 2000 conviction of possession of marijuana.
Humes will be sentenced at a later date. Had he been convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to deal, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison. He now faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.