Headline — 05 December 2014 — by Rowland A. Parks
Woman, 45, faces $10,000 and 3 years for 1 weed tree

BELIZE CITY–A woman who was on trial for marijuana cultivation and pipe possession was found guilty this morning when she and her two children appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer.

Frazer found Tyron King, 18, and Sherin King, 20, not guilty of the two charges, but their mother, Olympia King, 45, was not so fortunate. She was found guilty of both charges against her.

Another person who was accused along with the Kings was Harrison Smith, who has been murdered since the trial began.

Frazer, in a gesture of goodwill, allowed King to go home to spend the Christmas holidays with her family, but warned her that the penalty for marijuana cultivation is the same as that for drug trafficking, a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for 3 years.

“I have not made up my mind what I will do with you as yet, but when you come back for sentencing on January 6, 2015, come prepared, Miss,” Frazer told the convicted King. “It’s fine and confine; make your preparation,” the Magistrate advised.

In a soft, pleading voice, King asked the Magistrate not to send her to prison, because she is caring for her father, who, according to her, “does not have much longer.”

“I no mek up my mind yet, but I done tell yu the penalty for cultivation,” Frazer said. “You are looking at nothing less than 3 years,” she stated.

Frazer asked the court prosecutor if King has any previous conviction, and he handed a court document to her.

The court record indicates that King was convicted of cannabis possession and was fined $500 in 2012, but she had only paid $20 out of that fine.

Frazer told her, “Normally, people who owe the court have to pay before they are allowed to walk out of here.”

On July 11, 2012, the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) searched King’s apartment on St. Joseph Street. Police found a single marijuana plant on the verandah of King’s apartment. The plant measured about 3 feet in height.

The police also found a pipe, measuring about four inches in length, adapted for smoking illegal drugs.

In their defense, the King’s children both gave dock testimony, telling the court that they had no knowledge of the marijuana tree or the pipe.

Olympia King told the court that the plant was in a garbage area and that she had recently rented the apartment and had no knowledge of the presence of the marijuana plant or the pipe that police found.

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