The Southern Standard, by Duane Sherrill —
A former community service officer charged with meth possession was acquitted on narcotics charges earlier this week following a jury trial.
The defendant, Betsy A. Hillis, 28, was found not guilty of the charge of possession of meth stemming from her arrest in early 2005. Hillis, who had served as a public service work coordinator a few years prior to her arrest, was in charge of supervising misdemeanor offenders who had been ordered to perform community service work by the General Sessions Court.
Hillis was arrested in the company of Eric Stone after lawmen were given information Stone was trafficking drugs. Stone, who has a history of drug arrests, was a concern to the defense during Hillis’ trial, so much so that a motion was filed requiring prosecutors not to explain what led to the stopping of Stone’s car the night in question. The stop was made due to suspicions he was trafficking drugs.
During trial the prosecution maintained a bag of dope fell out of the car when Hillis exited, something defense attorney John Partin questioned given an absence of that detail in the arrest warrant against the former officer of the court.
On her own behalf, Hillis said she had just gotten into the car with Stone a short time before he was stopped, noting the car was full of trash and that perhaps anything which fell out of the vehicle could have been lying in the floorboard and not noticed by her.
“We think the jury made a good decision and we appreciate their attentiveness to detail,” Partin said following the acquittal of his client.