Roanoke's Marijuana Martyr Gets Stern Advice

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 10, 2001.

  1. Source: Roanoke Times

    Facing possible 30-year sentence, man accused of growing pot takes case to national radio. The radio show host reminded him that prison wouldn't be as much fun as sitting home with some weed and women.
    Radio shock jock Howard Stern's verdict: A Roanoke man charged with growing marijuana will likely become "the Mandela of pot."

    Stern's New York-based, nationally syndicated radio program is host to actors, musicians, porn stars, comedians and sideshow freaks of all descriptions. On Thursday morning, Jay Lynch took his case to the self-anointed king of all media.

    In a nearly 15-minute interview, Stern and sidekick Robin Quivers tried to persuade Lynch to offer a plea in the case, which otherwise could cost him 30 years in prison.

    "You'll be the Mandela of pot," Stern said, in a joking reference to Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years in apartheid-era South Africa.

    But Lynch, as he has in newspaper articles, classified ads and an aborted jury trial, stood by his claims that he puffs the herb to ease the pain of a bad back - and that police violated his Fourth Amendment rights, which protect him from unreasonable searches and seizures.

    Roanoke circuit judges have already rejected the Fourth Amendment claim, as well as his attempt to get a jury to disregard the state's marijuana laws.

    Lynch says he will not waver.

    "Get ready for prison rape," Stern said. "What do you want from me?"

    Lynch got the show's attention with a letter he sent in late January. He wrote that an ex-girlfriend had sold him out to police, who raided his house in September 1999.

    Police said they confiscated more than 100 plants, worth about $180,000 on the street. He admits to having 30, including what he told Stern were "six or eight really good ones."

    A grand jury indicted him in October 1999 on a charge of manufacturing or possessing marijuana with the intent to manufacture it for others' use. That charge doesn't require proof that Lynch sold his dope.

    A conviction carries a maximum penalty of 30 years, but his former attorney, Assistant Public Defender Jay Finch, has said a plea bargain could lower that to six months in jail.

    By the time the Stern show's staff contacted Lynch, he was in jail on a contempt of court charge. Lynch, representing himself, crossed the line Feb. 8, Judge Robert P. Doherty told him.

    He repeatedly broke trial rules about how to object to evidence. He wedged cross-examination, even his own testimony, into the prosecution's questioning of a Roanoke police detective.

    Doherty sentenced him to 10 days in jail for contempt, and declared a mistrial. He faces a new trial April 2 and 3.

    The Stern crew played the recorded sound of a gurgling bong as Lynch said he wound up with the "hanging judge." Stern recommended Lynch adopt some humility, plead guilty and ask the judge for a break.

    Lynch replied that entering a plea would be "crazy."

    "All right, make yourself a test case," Quivers said.

    "This is what the judge is hearing - a wise guy," Stern added later, reminding him that prison wouldn't be as much fun as sitting home with some weed and women.

    Despite the grilling, Lynch said Friday that "it was a big thrill." He wrote Stern a thank-you letter, asking for more help with the case.

    "There have been several articles in the local paper but I need to let the whole world know about this travesty and I believe you are the only man who could help with that," Lynch wrote in the letter, in which he included some lottery tickets. "I hope the lottery tickets that I sent were winners," he wrote, adding that if they aren't, he'll send more.

    He signed the letter "C.J.

    Note: Facing possible 30-year sentence, man accused of growing pot takes case to national radio.

    Source: Roanoke Times (VA)
    Author: Tad Dickens, The Roanoke Times
    Published: Saturday, March 10, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Roanoke Times
    Address: 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, Va. 24010

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