The Norman Transcript

Local news

July 19, 2013

Synthetic marijuana charges dropped after testimony falls flat

NORMAN — Felony charges against a Norman couple for intent to distribute synthetic marijuana were dropped after a crucial testimony fell through last month.

Christie and Dennis England were charged in Cleveland County District Court with possession of controlled dangerous substances with intent to distribute within 2,000 feet of a park in March. Those charges were dismissed last month after prosecutors were unable to get a much-needed testimony from an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation chemist at a preliminary hearing.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Thursday it was hard for the OSBI lab to testify that the chemical makeup of the substances confiscated from the England’s aromatherapy shop was similar to the chemical makeup to substances on Oklahoma’s banned substance list.

However, they are working on it. The DA’s office is currently working with a professor at the University of Oklahoma, who is an organic chemist, to help with the similar cases in the future.

“There’s still a chance we could get that case back on track once we’re able to elicit that testimony. And in future cases it will help,” Mashburn said.

The probable cause affidavit filed with the England’s charges said when an undercover police officer made a controlled purchase at the aromatherapy shop, the substance was sent to the OSBI lab to be tested. OSBI reported that the items bought contained a chemical substance known as XLR-11, which was obtained through instrumental analysis, but had not been confirmed by OSBI.

A detective who spoke to an OSBI chemist said the chemist advised Norman police that XLR-11 was supposed to be placed on the controlled list in Oklahoma in November.

After an alleged overdose by a high school student in March, police seized 190 packages from the aromatherapy shop. Patrol officers also encountered three people in possession of the substance that they admitted buying from the business with the intentions of getting high, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Crime briefs

    Woman charged with assault A Norman woman was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon Monday after admitting that she threw a knife at someone, court records show. Jamie Marie Rietz, 32, was charged in Cleveland County ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jeremy Ryan Sellers, 20, second-degree burglary and malicious injury to property under $1,000 in concert and together with Ryan ...

    July 22, 2014

  • County want details of insurance coverage

    Cleveland County commissioners will formally request particulars on their insurance coverage from the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma Self Insurance Group....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart journeys from volunteer to director at Women’s Resource Center

    Kristy Stewart walked into the Women’s Resource Center as a volunteer 30 years ago. The volunteer work soon turned into a staff position, and that one into another and another and so on. Along with the new responsibilities came her ...

    July 21, 2014

  • garnervisit1 Family, friends recall Garner’s Norman roots

    Flowers started arriving at the James Garner statue at Main Street and Jones Avenue Sunday morning after residents learned of the famed actor and Norman native’s death Saturday night in California. Norman resident Roy Hamilton, who grew ...

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • James Garner James Garner dies at 86

    NEW YORK — Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety....

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos