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Stoudamire pleads innocent

Blazers guard charged with possessing pound of marijuana

Posted: Tuesday May 14, 2002 1:06 PM
Updated: Tuesday May 14, 2002 1:52 PM
  Damon Stoudamire Damon Stoudamire leaves Clackamas County Courthouse Tuesday after his court appearance. AP

OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) -- Portland Trail Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire pleaded innocent Tuesday to a felony charge of possessing marijuana.

Stoudamire's lawyer, Stephen Houze, said he would challenge the legality of a police search of the basketball star's home in Lake Oswego, a wealthy Portland suburb.

Bail for Stoudamire was set at $50,000.

"We think the law is clear and we intend to fight this all the way," Houze said.

According to published news reports, police found a pound of marijuana at Stoudamire's home on Feb. 23. Responding to a burglar alarm, police found a door ajar, called for backup and entered the home, according to the reports.

Houze is challenging the charge against Stoudamire on the basis of a ruling last week by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

In that case, the court ruled a warrantless search of a house with an open door was illegal.

According to an indictment returned on Monday, Stoudamire is charged with possessing 150 or more grams of marijuana -- a Class B felony.

Stoudamire's father also had been initially charged with possessing marijuana. But prosecutors said that charge has been dropped because of insufficient evidence.

Stoudamire, who earned $12.4 million this season, was playing well until the drug case came to light on April 15. He struggled badly during the Blazers' first-round playoff series against the Lakers, averaging five points and missing 17 of his 22 shots.

Portland was swept by Los Angeles 3-0 for the second straight year.

Stoudamire was the NBA's rookie of the year with Toronto in 1996 after averaging 19 points a game. He was traded from the Raptors to Portland in 1998 in the middle of his third season.


 
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