Jury Finds Man Guilty on Drug Charges; Second Man Enters Plea

2.27.13.2A Catahoula Parish man was found guilty on two illegal narcotic charges by a 12-member jury and another entered a guilty plea to drug charges after a second jury was seated, during late January sessions of 28th Judicial District Court.

The Honorable J. Christopher Peters, 28th District Court Judge, presided at the Court session and District Attorney J. Reed Walters of the 28th Judicial District, represented the State during the session.

Bobby G. Buras, 23, of Jonesville, charged with manufacture of methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, appeared in Court on Monday, January 28th, for a jury trial on the two charges.

During the day on that Monday, a 12-member jury was seated and Court adjourned until Tuesday morning. When the trial got underway at 9:30 a.m., several witnesses were placed under the Rule of Sequestration. By 2:38 p.m., both the State and defense rested and closing arguments started at 2:43 p.m., followed by the charge to the jury and at 3:29 p.m., the jury exited the Courtroom to deliberate.

At 4:17 p.m., the Jury returned to the Courtroom with its verdict as follows:

On Count 1, manufacture of methamphetamines, the jury found the defendant guilty. On Count II, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamines, the jury found the defendant guilty.

On a motion by counsel for the defendant, the Jury was polled. The jurors’ votes were unanimous on the charge of manufacture of methamphetamines and jurors voted 10 to 2 for conviction on the charge of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamines.
The Jury was thanked for its service and exited the Courtroom.

A sentencing date was set for 9:30 a.m., March 5, 2013. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered, returnable to the Court by noon on Feb. 22, 2013. Post conviction bond was set in the amount of $450,000.

Defendant Enters Plea
2.27.13.1Also during the week fixed for criminal jury trials, the second case came before the Court on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Sherman Sharp, 32, of Jonesville, faced trial on charges of manufacture of methamphetamines and conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamines.

After a 12-member jury was seated to hear the case, Sharp advised the Court that he wanted to enter a plea of guilty to the charge of manufacture of methamphetamines. The Court advised the defendant of his rights after which he said he still wished to enter a guilty plea to the charge. The conspiracy charge was dismissed by the State.

The plea was taken as a blind plea. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered, returnable to the Court by noon on Feb. 22, 2013. Sentencing was set for 9:30 a.m., March 6. A post-conviction bond was set in the amount of $100,000.

On the manufacturing charge, Buras faces a sentence of not less than 10 years nor more than 30 years at hard labor; on the conspiracy charge, he faces up to 15 years at hard labor. At least 10 years must be served without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. He could also be fined up to $500,000. Sharp faces the same sentence as Buras on the manufacturing charge.

Good Police Work
LaSalle Parish District Attorney J. Reed Walters said these convictions resulted from exceptionally good police work by the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Officers.

“They worked the case professionally and assisted the prosecution effort in every way possible,” Walters said. Sheriff Scott Franklin also commended his narcotic officers for the outstanding job they did in making these cases, and also commended the District Attorney’s office for their professional handling of the case, which led to the two convictions.

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