Grand Jury refuses to indict Texas teen facing life for marijuana
A Texas Grand Jury has refused to indict Jacob Lavoro after prosecutors sought to charge him with a felony for making marijuana brownies. The charge would have Lavoro facing a potential sentence of 99 years if convicted.
He was however indicted on a lesser charge which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years.
An additional charge for intent to distribute was added though, which would have Lavoro facing up to 2 years in prison as well.
Lavoro’s lawyer, Jack Holmes, made a statement today regarding the recent news, stating “yes, it is true that the Grand Jury refused to indict Jacob on the most serious of the charges, the charge of over 400 grams of THC. However, the Grand Jury did indict him on a less serious charge of possession with intent to deliver THC 1-4 grams which is still a second degree felony carrying a punishment range of 2-20 years. In addition, the Grand Jury added an additional charge of possession of marijuana over four ounces and under five pounds, a state jail felony carrying a punishment range of 180 days to two years in state jail. We are grateful to the Grand Jury for this but now there is more work to be done like the illegal entry of the apartment and the illegal search of cell phone data which the police seized without warrant as required.”
Activists who started a Facebook page and petition on his behalf, and held rallies at the courthouse released a statement today as well.
“Hello everyone, this is Robert Butler, the founder of the Justice for Jacob Lavoro Facebook page. I want to thank all of you for your support. Due to all of our efforts and the 270,000 signatures on change.org – the DA dropped the most serious charge that included the full weight of the marijuana brownies and their containers. If we can make a difference in Williamson County, Texas, you can stand up and make a difference in your community too. Be counted! Get involved! Thank you!”
Lavoro’s apartment was searched earlier this year after a neighbor complained of marijuana usage. His lawyer alleges that the entry was unlawful and not consented to.
Upon searching his apartment, officers found a pan of marijuana brownies. Under state law, prosecutors charged Lavoro for possessing concentrated THC, the active ingredient in cannabis which produces the high, and included the entire weight of the brownies rather than just the marijuana. This increased what would have been several grams of THC to about a pound and a half.