Just Another Guy with Opinions

Giving Pot to Kids – Teen gets 8 Years

Posted by shadmia on July 28, 2008

Demetrius McCoy, 18 of Watauga, Texas was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to two charges of injury to a child causing bodily injury. He also pleaded guilty to two charges of burglary of a habitation. He received 8 years on each of the 4 counts all of which to be served concurrently. It was however the charges related to causing bodily injury to a child that were the most shocking.

McCoy and his cousin Vanswan Polty, were arrested in February 2007 after police found a video while executing a search warrant at the Watauga home of McCoy’s grandmother. Police were investigating burglaries that McCoy and Polty are suspected of committing. On the video McCoy was seen giving his two nephews 2 and 5-years-old marijuana to smoke. Below is the video found by the police.

McCoy who reportedly has a 3-month-old daughter, was seen giving his nephews pot, blowing smoke in their faces, calling them “potheads” and joking about them having the “munchies”. When asked about the incident in an interview from jail, McCoy apologized for causing such a firestorm but indicated that he didn’t consider what he did to be a serious crime.

“Some people give their kids alcohol, let them smoke ice, methamphetamines. Weed ain’t going to kill them,” he said.

Watauga Department of Public Safety Director Bruce Ure took the incident very seriously and said the teens encouraged the two young boys to smoke a marijuana cigar. Investigators were appalled as they watched the tape.

“You’re watching a crime in progress,” Mr. Ure said. “This is their uncle, and he’s encouraging them. They were so willing to go along, to please their uncle. Encouraging a 2-year-old who is clearly a baby – it’s a baby, and they think it’s funny watching him impaired.”

In an attempt to minimize his own actions, he said he doesn’t believe he is the first to expose the boys to the illegal drug and besides “They wasn’t even high,” Mr. McCoy said. “They didn’t even inhale it right.” He said that even if he hadn’t giving his nephews the pot to smoke “the youngsters would have eventually smoked the drug anyway.”

In exchange for the eight-year sentence, McCoy must also testify against his co-defendant, Vanswan Polty, officials said. If McCoy had been convicted at trial, he would have faced up to 10 years in prison. Vanswan Polty, 19, remains in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial. He faces two charges of injury to a child, three charges of burglary of a habitation and one charge of failing to identify himself to a peace officer.

“I think Mr. McCoy recognized that a Tarrant County jury was not going to stand for his behavior, and he did the proper thing by taking responsibility for his actions,” said prosecutor Darrell Davila, who handled the case with Leticia Martinez.

McCoy was represented by defense lawyer Ruben Gonzalez Jr.:

“My client accepted his responsibility,” Gonzalez said. “His family has suffered terribly, and it is something he will have to live with.”

Shatorria Russell, the children’s mother, has said she was asleep in another room in the home, which she shared with her children, grandmother and McCoy when the children smoked marijuana. Child Protective Services removed the children from the home shortly after McCoy’s arrest, and  Russell relinquished her parental rights to the state. The children are living with a foster family and are awaiting adoption, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said.

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