Man facing pot charges days after being acquitted of murder

Man facing pot charges days after being acquitted of murderA Tallahassee man found not guilty of first-degree murder last Thursday was arrested on charges of marijuana possession two days later.

In Saturday’s arrest, Dejuan Barnes was a passenger in a Dodge Magnum stopped for window tint violations by Tallahassee Police Department officers conducting a traffic stop near Lake Bradford Road and Elberta Drive.

Police summoned a drug-sniffing dog, who alerted officers to the car. After a search, police found more than 13 ounces of marijuana under the front passenger seat where Barnes, 24, was seated.

Police removed three individuals from the car, court records show, and “without being questioned, Barnes voluntarily verbally took ownership of all the suspected cannabis.”

Officers also found 3 grams of marijuana on Barnes’ person and 11 individually packaged bags of marijuana on another man in the car.

Barnes was arrested on charges of marijuana possession with intent to sell, marijuana possession over 20 grams and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. He was released from the Leon County Jail on a $5,500 bond.

Barnes was one of four defendants in the Aug. 20, 2013, murder of 27-year-old Jessee Rollins, whose body was found in the middle of FAMU Way after police said he was kidnapped and robbed. Rollins was found by TPD officers with gunshot wounds to the back of the neck.

According to court records, surveillance video shows that five men kidnapped and robbed Rollins last August outside of the apartment complex of one of the defendants, Octavious Hutchinson, who is facing charges of armed robbery with a firearm and kidnapping to facilitate a felony.

Assistant State Attorney Jack Campbell said Barnes’ trial was expedited when his attorneys filed a demand for a speedy trial, meaning prosecutors must prepare their case within 60 days.

Barnes was represented by Monticello-based attorney David W. Collins.

Collins, who has 30 years of experience and served as an assistant state attorney in the 1980s under then State Attorney Janet Reno, said this is his first complete not guilty verdict that included murder since his first in 1991.

Collins said the speedy trial motion was demanded by Barnes, who did not want to be tried along with the other defendants.

He said shortening the preparation time for Campbell may have helped in the not-guilty verdict, which jurors returned within an hour.

“I think the short time period Mr. Campbell had with the case caused by the demand for speedy trial was a disadvantage for him,” Collins said. “It wasn’t his fault, but I was surprised.”

Campbell could not go into details about Barnes’ acquittal because the other three defendants in the murder case, Deron Williams, Brandon Ward and Steven Brown, still have to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder, robbery, carjacking and kidnapping with a firearm. They have a case management hearing July 8.

All three remain in the Leon County Jail without bond.

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