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Jury deliberating in Snowden marijuana possession trial

A jury will resume deliberations Tuesday in the marijuana possession case involving Carl Snowden, the civil rights chief at the Office of the Maryland Attorney General.

The jury deliberated for a little over an hour Monday before Judge Michael W. Reed, who is overseeing the case in Baltimore City Circuit Court, dismissed the members of the jury for the evening.

Snowden is facing misdemeanor drug possession charges. He was arrested on April 19 at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore after police discovered a brown cigar paper that had marijuana in plain sight in a parked Honda Pilot that he owned. With him was a passenger, Anthony Hill.

Police also discovered a clear plastic bag in Hill’s pocket that contained marijuana.

Hill, a 29-year-old registered sex offender, admitted at a plea hearing in June that the marijuana was his, and was sentenced to 20 hours of community service. Last Friday, Judge Reed ruled that the jury could hear testimony that the drugs were Hill’s.

Snowden’s attorney, Stuart O. Simms, read to the jury from a transcript of proceedings from June in which Hill accepted responsibility for both quantities of marijuana.

“The marijuana was Mr. Hill’s,” Simms said in closing arguments on Monday.

In response, Assistant State’s Attorney Deniece Robinson reminded the jury that more than one person can possess marijuana.

“Just because Mr. Hill is saying ‘It’s my marijuana’ does not mean that [Snowden] did not possess it,” she said during closing arguments.

Robinson said Snowden possessed the marijuana because it was in his car and he knew it was there.

“We have all heard of a contact high,” she also said. “The defendant enjoyed the marijuana. We all know what was happening in that car. Use your common sense.”

An officer testified Monday that Snowden asked him “not to lock him up” when he was placing Snowden under arrest.

“I asked him how come and he said because of his job,” Det. Vaughn Diggs told the jury.

Snowden decided not to testify at Monday’s trial. He also declined to comment on the case.

David Paulson, a spokesman for Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, did not return calls for comment.

Snowden announced just days before the arrest that he would be taking a leave of absence from his job in the attorney general’s office in order to pursue a lawsuit against Anne Arundel County.

Snowden was one of a group of people found to be the subjects of dossiers allegedly put together by County Executive John R. Leopold’s executive protection detail. Leopold was indicted in the spring on charges of misconduct in office relating to how he used his security detail. Leopold has said that he will fight the charges.