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Archive for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Attorney for KU’s McLemore suggests entrapment defense in minor in possession of alcohol citation

February 29, 2012

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An attorney for a Kansas University basketball player who is fighting a minor in possession of alcohol citation has mentioned an entrapment defense.

Ben McLemore, 19, faces a misdemeanor charge after he received a ticket Nov. 4 from a state Alcoholic Beverage Control officer. The officer alleged McLemore was found with a Red Bull and vodka at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St.

Lawrence attorney Al Lopes filed the Feb. 17 motion asking District Judge Peggy Kittel to order prosecutors to disclose to the defense the identities of ABC officers and “decoys” and other information about the alleged events or to dismiss the case.

“The identity of all ABC agents and decoys is material to his defense of entrapment,” Lopes wrote.

Lopes gave this version of events in the motion:

l McLemore went to Abe and Jake’s that night but presented proper identification and wore a bracelet identifying him as underage and not eligible to purchase alcohol. He stayed away from the bar.

l While he talked with friends, “an unknown” female approached and offered to buy a drink. McLemore did not know her but accepted her offer. She purchased it with her own money, and he never went to the bar with her.

l When she returned she handed him the drink and left. He never saw her again.

l McLemore then was about to dispose of the drink “because he wore the bracelet and knew he was not supposed to drink,” but an ABC officer apprehended him.

“The only purpose of the ABC agents’ action was to catch a minor in possession just to institute a criminal prosecution,” Lopes wrote, adding the identity of the names of all ABC agents and their decoys will allow the defense to subpoena individuals as witnesses.

“We have responded to Mr. Lopes’ entire (earlier) discovery request from Jan. 13,” Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said. “We have no information in our records to suggest the facts of the event as recited by the motion are credible.”

McLemore, a freshman from St. Louis, is ineligible to play in games this season because the NCAA declared him a partial academic qualifier.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.

Comments

RogueThrill 2 years, 6 months ago

Does a MIP charge require a test for BAC? Did anyone see him drink any of it? It makes sense that simple possession is an offense, but it doesn't seem right if he actually didn't drink it or request it.

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 6 months ago

MIP does NOT require BAC. In fact, the ABC doesn't even have to see the person drink it. It just has to be in their possession. If its on the table in front of him, he's guilty according to the law. It asinine. Those are exactly the tactics used by the ABC as proof for their need to exist.

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Katara 2 years, 6 months ago

Why did he accept her offer of a drink, especially since according to his defense, he wasn't planning on drinking it?

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

Really! "she handed him the drink and left" He should never have accepted it, because it might have contained a "date rape" drug!

But it does say he "was about to dispose of the drink."

I will be sure to keep this event in mind in case any attractive young women offer me a drink. That hasn't happened yet, but I sure hope it does someday!

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Jim Williamson 2 years, 6 months ago

The person buying him drinks was a female. He is a 19-year-old male. There's a 90% chance he's straight. You do the math.

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fu7il3 2 years, 6 months ago

I think they are trying to suggest that an ABC officer bought him a drink. That is pretty hilarious when you think about it. I'm sure they would have no problem finding underage drinkers in Lawrence without "entrapment."

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

That's very true. All they have to do is pull over the SafeBus and check for age and intoxication. If they're not 21 yet, it is a no-brainer that they all had been minors in possession of a beverage, and they now are possessing it in their bloodstream.

Or for that matter, detain and test younger people anywhere in town.

"Why do the students, most of them under 21, need to party and drink at all?"

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 6 months ago

fu7il3, What makes the suggestion even more ridiculous is that it's TRUE! I have dealt with the ABC for 20 years and these are exactly the tactics they use. I am an attorney who has dealt with the ABC on numerous occasions and you have no idea how corrupt they are. They break the law routinely in attempts to 'entrap' our youth. I'm not saying everything they do is corrupt, but in my dealings they are often more guilty than the kid they prosecute. They answer to no one and run numerous stings like this on a routine basis.

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fu7il3 2 years, 6 months ago

I think this is called the Carrie Neighbors defense.

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CMM 2 years, 6 months ago

Good ol Al. Gotta give him some credit though...this may be the most creative MIP defense ever. For college kids, an MIP is almost a rite of passage. Most just pay the fee and move along. Can't imagine why Ben would really want to drag this out, but to each his own.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Good ol Al."

I wonder if he has staff to check his spelling and grammar on his legal briefs these days.

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 6 months ago

maybe because he has principles and wants to clear his name for an offense he didn't commit!

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 6 months ago

He's on the basketball team, they don't buy drinks.

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Thats_messed_up 2 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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unklemonkey 2 years, 6 months ago

It's cool when people assume the worst in everyone. Grow up.

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skinny 2 years, 6 months ago

ABC does not buy minors alcohol! But I have some swamp land down in Florida to sell ya if you’re interested!!

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's play this scenario out:

Let's assume the girl was working undercover for the ABC and offered to buy Ben a drink. Ben accepts her offer along with others at the table, and she returns with drinks for everyone including Ben. Then she leaves the table and moments later the ABC show up and bust Ben for possession. Whether he drank it or not, he's in possession of the drink. So is he guilty? Please remember that buying alcohol for an minor is illegal as well, so the ABC agent (the girl that bought the drink) committed a crime as well in an attempt to see if Ben would accept the drink thereby implicating himself in an illegal act. Did he have 'intent' in committing his crime, or did he simply accept a generous offer? Who is really the culprit here, the ABC agent (she did have intent) or Ben? He's not totally innocent either. He did accept the offer, but she's the one that planned and executed the ruse. Whose at greater fault here? Remember if it had not been for her illegal actions Ben would not be in trouble at all. He had no intent nor did his actions. Does the ABC have the right to break the law to see if another will implicate himself?

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juma 2 years, 6 months ago

The ABC has a program of entrapment. They have been doing this for years under the guise of enforcement of safe alcohol sale/use. The ABC has not interest in promoting responsible alcohol sales; they only want the money from fines. Ask any bar/liquor store owner about ABC practice. If they complain the ABC agents threaten the owner and start harassing them. I hope Lopes gets the case in the courts and brings to light the ABC methods.

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Dan Blomgren 2 years, 6 months ago

Juma,

You hit the nail squarely on the head! It's all about them getting their fines. That's how they keep their jobs. They say "look how much money we raised last year" and the then they claim there such a problem with underage drinking based on the amount of money they raised. The circle goes round and round.

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juma 2 years, 6 months ago

The ABC has a program of entrapment. They have been doing this for years under the guise of enforcement of safe alcohol sale/use. The ABC has not interest in promoting responsible alcohol sales; they only want the money from fines. Ask any bar/liquor store owner about ABC practice. If they complain the ABC agents threaten the owner and start harassing them. I hope Lopes gets the case in the courts and brings to light the ABC methods.

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purplesage 2 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like he made 2 mistakes. The first one was going to the landing. The 2nd was accepting a "drink" from an unknown person, even if she was cute. I don't believe for a second that ABC wouldn't do such a thing. Lots of "law enforcement" is accomplished by the means of a set up. That's exactly what this sounds like

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Jeremy 2 years, 6 months ago

Tickets? Is that all you can come up with? Al Lopes is a former KU basketball player and member of the K club. He has his own tickets. Give it a rest!

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