Miller County Jury Acquits Man Of Drug Charge After 5-Minute Deliberation

Miller County Courthouse

TEXARKANA, Ark.–A commercial truck driver from Doddridge, Ark., was found not guilty of possessing methamphetamine by a Miller County jury last week and it only took five minutes for jurors to decide that the police and prosecutors had gotten it wrong when they charged him.

Texarkana lawyer Shorty Barrett told TXK Today that his client, George Jenkins, always maintained his innocence following his arrest in September of 2022. Jenkins had come to Texarkana for a night of pool playing and some beers at a local watering hole, Barrett said, adding that after realizing he’d had too much to drink to drive, he asked a fellow bar patron for help getting his vehicle and him to an area motel where he could sleep it off.

At the time of his arrest, Jenkins’ truck was being driven by a Texarkana man with a long history of criminal conduct and a woman riding in the backseat has been implicated in criminal activity as well, Barrett said. Officers conducting drug interdiction surveillance at the Oyo Hotel on State Line Ave. pulled Jenkins’ truck over as his acquaintance from the bar drove into the Motel 6 parking lot, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The driver, who had a meth pipe in his pocket, told an officer that there were drugs in the car and that they belonged to Jenkins. After finding a baggie containing less than two grams of meth in plain view in the front seat floor board, Jenkins was arrested. The driver and female passenger were arrested on outstanding warrants but were not charged in connection with the meth.

Once he was able to post bond, Jenkins obtained a hair follicle test in an effort to prove he was not a drug user. Barrett said the results of that test and the results of drug tests going back three years that he had taken in connection with his employment with a company required to maintain them for the Department of Transportation, showed Jenkins was not using drugs.

“The jury took only about five minutes to determine that George Jenkins was not guilty of possession of methamphetamine,” Barrett said. “The law firm of Barrett and Tyler and George Jenkins would like to thank the jurors for making the right decision in this case, and for taking the time out of their busy lives to participate in the jury process. It is essential to our judicial system.”

Julia Goodheart, who served on Jenkins’ jury, told TXK Today there was no disagreement among the jurors as to whether or not Jenkins’ was guilty, leading to the quick not-guilty verdict. She also praised Barrett’s performance as defense attorney, saying, “I’d definitely hire him.”

Circuit Judge Wren Autrey presided over the case.

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