Columbia man gets 3 years for cocaine possession

January 24, 2007|By Tyrone Richardson | Tyrone Richardson,Sun reporter

A Columbia man who slipped out of Howard County General Hospital last year after police saved him from drowning in a pond while he was trying to avoid arrest was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday after being convicted of possessing cocaine.

Howard Circuit Judge Richard S. Bernhardt found Joaquin Deshaun Leycock, 29, guilty of the misdemeanor charge of possession of drugs, driving with a suspended license and speeding.

Leycock waived his rights to a trial by jury.

The sentence will run consecutively with a five-year prison term Leycock received in August for failing to report to his probation agent between June 2004 and May 2006 for urinalysis and failing to notify the office of a change of address. The probation was from a 2000 conviction for drug distribution.

Police testified yesterday that when they stopped the 1997 Honda Civic that Leycock was driving July 6 on Snowden River Parkway for speeding, they noticed a strong odor of marijuana in the vehicle.

During a search, they said, officers discovered packets of crack cocaine in an ashtray.

When police went to question Leycock about the cocaine, they said that he fled, running into a wooded area and falling into a 15-foot deep sediment pond, nearly drowning.

Police pulled Leycock from the pond, and he was taken to Howard County General Hospital, where he was not guarded around-the-clock, officials said. Leycock walked out of the hospital July 9 with a $6,000 heart monitor.

A tip led police to a house in Northwest Baltimore, where he was arrested July 26.

Leycock has several drug-related convictions in Howard County that date to 1996, according to court records.

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