No one expected Prosecuting attorney David Hall to walk into court today and inform Rev. Charles Eddy Lepp and his defense team that the most substantial piece of evidence on Rev. Lepp and co-defendant Daniel Barnes may be permanently unsalvageable. It appears that the undercover agent, who was involved in the negotiation and purchase of the alleged sale of one pound of marijuana from Rev Lepp and Barnes, is unable to produce the recorded conversation and video that incriminates the two.
This was the sole piece of evidence which produced the search warrant that lead to Barnes and Rev. Lepp being arrested in the 2005 raid on Eddy’s Medicinal Gardens and Multi-Denominational Ministry of Cannabis and Rastafari. Hall reported that he and the undercover agent have been unable to access or copy the video or audio information on the mini-disc that could be considered their most crucial piece of evidence. There are plans to seek professional assistance in the hope that they may salvage the mini-disc in question. We can expect an update on this within the next week.
Rev. Lepp was informed by his legal team that the original search warrant is invalid. It appears that the officers heading the 2004 raid forgot to put vital information on the warrant. This may prove to be a valuable tool in strengthening the defense for Rev. Lepp and make all charges that spawned from this warrant non binding, which would include the charges from 2005.
When asked how he felt about Judge Patel’s comment regarding the sudden use of Rev. in his motions, he replied. “We were using the religious defense all along. My former attorneys did not want to use a religious defense. We turned in pro-per papers to Judge Patel prior to the February 16th arrest, stating clearly that we wished to use a religious defense. My new legal team headed by Tony, Omar, and Shari, of Pier 5 Law Offices believe very strongly in my religious use as well as my medical use, and have insisted on using my full title. So, it’s really nothing new. Besides, the DEA has referred to the ministry in their press releases on me for some time. So obviously, they are aware of my credibility and sincere religious beliefs.”
Rev. Lepp and co-defendant Barnes will be in court next on July 5th 2005 at 10am in front of Judge Patel at the Federal Court Building in San Francisco California. The defense for Rev. Lepp will be addressing motions on return of property, use of medical marijuana, and Rev. Lepp’s travel for the ministry being changed back to the original conditions with pre-trial services after the initial raid in 2004, to anywhere in the Continental United States. Also on this date court appointed attorney for Barnes, Harris Taback, will continue his verbal exchange with Judge Patel to allow Barnes to use medicinal marijuana as requested by his doctor.
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