Jury selection Tuesday for man accused of stashing meth in boot

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A 50-year-old man whose meth allegedly fell out when he took off his boots to perform a field sobriety test is set for trial Tuesday in Miller County.

A Miller County resident living in the 1700 block of state Highway 160 called police shortly after midnight April 4 to report that a grey Chevrolet pickup had been circling his home. While deputies with the Miller County Sheriff’s Office were en route, the resident informed dispatchers that he had the man, Donald Mack Tussey Jr., stopped on his property.

According to a probable cause affidavit written by Deputy Jesse Mathis, Tussey’s eyes were blood shot and his speech was slurred. Tussey allegedly claimed he knew a homeowner in the area but was unable to give deputies a name.

“Mr. Tussey stated something about he was looking for a place to park his vehicle,” the affidavit states. “Mr. Tussey was mumbling when he spoke had had to be asked several times to repeat his answers.”

When asked if he had consumed any alcohol, Tussey allegedly said he’d had “about two or three mixed drinks earlier in the day,” and that he’d taken two Klonipin pills at the same time. Klonipin is a prescription anti-anxiety medication.

Deputies informed Tussey that they wanted to administer field sobriety tests to determine if he was too impaired to drive and Mathis began explaining the procedure for the “nine step walk and turn test.”

Tussey allegedly told the deputy that he wanted to take off his boots because they made him clumsy. Tussey allegedly had a difficult time maintaining his balance while trying to remove the boots.

“On the third attempt to remove his boots, a white plastic baggie fell out of one his boots,” the affidavit states.

Deputies suspected the substance in the baggie to be methamphetamine and charged Tussey with possession of the street drug. Tussey is facing a charge of possession of methamphetamine under two grams.

Jury selection is set to begin at the Miller County courthouse Tuesday morning before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones. Tussey is represented by Texarkana attorney Josh Potter. Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell are prosecuting.

If convicted, Tussey faces three to ten years in prison, a fine up to $10,000, or both.

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