The Southern Standard, by Duane Sherrill —
Citing lack of evidence, Judge Larry Ross Tuesday dismissed all criminal charges against former 911 second-in-command Brenda Thompson for the methamphetamine lab found behind her house last month.
Her husband, Terry Thompson, was not so fortunate, however, as Ross bound him to the grand jury on meth manufacture charges for his admitted production of the illegal substance. His bond was reduced from $600,000 to $150,000.
“The ruling was consistent with the law and we applaud the judge’s decision,” said Thompson’s attorney John Partin, saying it is premature to speculate if Thompson will ask for her longtime job back as operations manager at the 911 center which she resigned when the charges were leveled. “She just wants to get back on with her life now.”
Mrs. Thompson has been free on bond since being arrested shortly after her husband last month after lawmen raided their Short Mountain Road home. TBI agents said they found 60 grams of meth on Mr. Thompson’s person.
They also found numerous items used in the production of meth hidden in a root cellar inside an outbuilding located about 15 feet behind the Thompsons’ home. They did not find any meth items inside the Thompson house.
During questioning, Mr. Thompson allegedly told agents the meth found on him was part of what he had made in his lab the night before. He also reportedly admitted to making various small drug sales.
It was during the interview, Mr. Thompson said his wife had crawled into the cellar inside the building about six months before the bust and apparently discovered his lab. Following the discovery, Mrs. Thompson reportedly had arguments with her husband on several occasions, presumably trying to stop him from any illegal activities he may have undertaken.
Mrs. Thompson was arrested on charges of facilitation of manufacture of meth and maintaining a residence for the production of meth after she was interviewed by lawmen following her husband’s arrest. During the short talk, which was cut off when she demanded a lawyer and refused to take a polygraph, Mrs. Thompson said she did see items in the building, that she had seen “not so upstanding people” coming to the house, and that her husband, despite not having a job, was able to give her hundreds of dollars from time to time.
The connection, Partin argued, was not enough to warrant criminal charges against his client since she neither supported nor assisted her husband’s illegal operation. Judge Ross agreed, saying it’s a perplexing case.
“It appears she was raising cane on her husband about it,” Ross said. “The most damaging thing is she knew as long as six months ago but didn’t tell anyone.”
While dismissing the case against Mrs. Thompson, Ross noted prosecutors will have the opportunity to present the case to the grand jury if they choose to try to resurrect the charges.