Home»Legal Encounters»Texas teen facing life for pot brownies has second hearing, test shows only 2.5 grams found

Texas teen facing life for pot brownies has second hearing, test shows only 2.5 grams found

Holmes and Lavoro
Jacob Lavoro stands outside the courthouse with his lawyer after the hearing today. Photo Credit: Justice for Jacob Lavoro

Jacob Lavoro, the 19-year-old from Round Rock who was arrested in April of this year for marijuana brownies, had a second hearing today at the Williamson County Court House in Georgetown. According to his lawyer, new test results should merit a reduction in charges.

He faces a possible 99 years in prison because of a state law which allows prosecutors to weigh the entire batch of brownies instead of just the marijuana contained in them. What would be 2.5 grams of the active ingredient in marijuana which produces the high, is considered to be 1.5 pounds when all of the other ingredients are thrown in.

Lawyer Jack Holmes had the brownies tested and said that amount of drugs should trigger a second-degree felony charge. Holmes spoke this afternoon after a court hearing for Lavoro, said he does not expect the prosecutors to reduce the charges. He said he expects them to proceed with the case by using the entire weight of the brownies and plastic container.

Lavoro, who said Wednesday after the hearing that he was “nervous and worried,” has not yet been indicted. His indictment is expected to be handed down in two weeks.

Holmes said the police did not have a warrant to search Lavoro’s apartment and did not have permission to enter it. He said Round Rock police decided it was legal to enter the apartment because they smelled marijuana when a woman opened the door at the residence.

The woman did not give permission for police to search the residence, Holmes said. Just smelling marijuana is not a legal reason to search an apartment, he said.

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

A group called Justice for Jacob Lavoro has been working on the teen’s behalf to raise funds and awareness about his case. They also started a petition, which has over 244,000 signatures.

First Assistant Williamson County District Attorney Mark Brunner has previously said that prosecutors don’t want to put Lavoro in prison for life.

“That’s not our intent,” he said. He said prosecutors have offered to let Lavoro plea to a second-degree felony charge for the 145 grams of hash oil that police found in a separate container in the apartment. The punishment for a second-degree felony is two to 20 years in prison.

Lavoro would be eligible for deferred adjudication if he pleaded to a second-degree felony, which means that he wouldn’t be convicted unless he violated the terms of his probation, Brunner said.

Holmes said the plea deal wasn’t accepted because he wants the case to be dismissed or go to trial.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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