Felony Charge Dropped Despite Defendant's Fight With Deputy


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A circuit judge Wednesday dismissed a felony charge of resisting arrest with violence against a man who fought with a Sheriff's Office deputy who was trying to enforce an undercover agreement.

Circuit Judge Michael Overstreet made sure his ruling would not be misinterpreted as either condoning Stephen Adkins' actions or condemning law enforcement techniques in investigating drug activities.

But in the end, Overstreet ruled that Deputy Ryan Robbins was not engaged in a lawful arrest when he and Adkins, 27, fought on Oct. 20, 2005.

Twenty-eight days before the fight, investigators with the Bay County Sheriff's Office's special investigations unit found a small amount of marijuana on Adkins during a traffic stop, according to court documents.

Adkins could have been charged with a misdemeanor. The officers gave Adkins the option of working for them in an undercover capacity and in exchange, the drug charge would not be filed.

Adkins agreed and was allowed to go on his way, court documents stated. On Oct. 20, 2005, Robbins went to Adkins' home to try to enforce that agreement.

"You can either fulfill your agreement or you can go to jail for the misdemeanor marijuana," Robbins told Adkins, according to court documents. "Which one do you want to do?"

Adkins said his lawyer told him it was an unenforceable agreement. "I guess you made your choice," Robbins replied.

When he tried to arrest Adkins, the two got into a fight, court documents stated. Robbins eventually arrested Adkins and charged him with the felony offense.

Adkins' lawyer, Bob Sombathy, told Overstreet that Robbins should have known that he could not arrest Adkins without a warrant. He cited a recent Florida Supreme Court opinion in which the court found that people could resist an arrest that was not done in a lawful manner.

Newshawk: User - 420 Magazine
Source: HeraldToday.com
Pubdate: 24 November 2006
Copyright: 2006 The News Herald
Contact: Contact Us -- HeraldToday.com
Website: Bradenton Herald | 11/24/2006 | Felony charge dropped despite defendant's fight with deputy
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