Dayton man draws jail term for drug possession WEST COUNTY--Clarksville * Highland * Glenelg * Lisbon

March 26, 1993|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

A Howard County Circuit Court judge sentenced a Dayton man to 6 months in jail after he was convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in the home of an elderly woman in 1991.

Yesterday, Judge Cornelius Sybert sentenced Clifton Louis Bowie, 29, of the 5000 block of Green Ridge Road to five years in the county detention center, suspending all but six months. Bowie also was ordered to serve five years' supervised probation and to undergo random urinalysis. If Bowie violates his probation, he'll serve the entire sentence.

The judge told Bowie that he was being lenient because the former dishwasher had no prior criminal record. He had faced a maximum of 20 years, his public defender said.

On Nov. 21, 1991, Bowie was arrested with two other men at a home in Dayton after police found a bag containing a large quantity of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and a bottle with at least 100 rocks of crack cocaine.

One co-defendant, Reginald Berry, 18, who lived in the house, died after suffering a heart attack before he could go to trial. The other co-defendant, Mark A. Harris, 28, served up to six months but is now in the custody of federal authorities.

In July, a jury convicted Bowie of possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a short-barreled shotgun. But the jury could not decide on the possession with intent to distribute cocaine charge. Bowie was retried in January and found guilty on all charges.

At the sentencing yesterday, public defender Spencer Gordon told the judge: "Mr. Bowie was the least culpable, the least involved." He said his client just assisted the other two men "to get a piece of the action."

But Assistant State's Attorney Robert Voss told the judge the three men knowingly sold cocaine from the home of an 85-year-old woman who couldn't see well. The woman, who was unaware of the drug activity, was Mr. Berry's grandmother.

"This lady was victimized by these three individuals," Mr. Voss said. He added that Bowie toted a shotgun and escorted patrons into the house. He wasn't in the house merely to get "scraps at the table," he said.

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