Thursday, July 1, 2004

Ex-deputy found guilty in drug case; jury deadlocks on five other charges

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

LEBANON - A former Warren County sheriff's deputy was found guilty Wednesday of a misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of dangerous drugs, but a jury deadlocked on five other drug-related charges.

The jury deliberated for 71/2 hours before returning a decision about 9 p.m. Prosecutors now must decide whether to try Michael Moore again on the other charges, two felonies and three misdemeanors.

Moore, 34, remains free on bond. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

Moore denied the charges in court Wednesday, saying his association with an admitted drug abuser was an attempt to help the man.

Moore said he had only been in contact with Frederick Purcell Jr. of Verona for about four weeks and did not help Purcell make methamphetamine at the Deerfield Township apartment complex where Moore lived.

He said the two just talked when Purcell visited Moore's apartment and, on one occasion, Moore helped fix Purcell's car.

In fact, Moore said, hours before Purcell was arrested for driving what police say was a mobile meth lab, Moore had told Purcell their friendship was over.

"I was through with him," Moore said. "I didn't see a change." Purcell on Tuesday told the jury that Moore helped him make methamphetamine twice at the apartment complex. Purcell implicated Moore after Purcell was stopped on Interstate 71 on New Year's Eve and arrested.

Moore's attorney, Bill Fowler, chipped away at Purcell's testimony, questioning its credibility.

"The man's been in prison more than once," Fowler said. "Is he testifying truthfully? So much of the state's case is based on the truthfulness of this man."


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