Hillsboro manﾠ acquitted of drug charges
A Hillsboro man indicted last year on three charges of delivering a Schedule II controlled substance was acquitted Wednesday after a jury trial.
Robert Randall Hall, 54, did not testify during his two-day trial. The jury returned a not guilty verdict in less than half an hour.
Hall was accused of selling a derivative of Oxycodone to a confidential informant on three separate occasions in August and September of 2008.
The informant, Jeff Barb, testified that he had an extensive history with drugs and wanted to help law enforcement curtail the drug problem in Pocahontas County, Prosecuting Attorney Donna Meadows said in her closing argument.
ﾓHis extensive history is what makes him able to help us,ﾔ Price said. ﾓTo know who he is is to know why it works.ﾔ
Defense attorney Eric Francis told jurors that Barb was not a credible witness, noting that Barb had admitted lying to police officers after he allegedly made the drug buys from Hall. Further, Francis disputed the investigating officersﾒ methods of searching the confidential informant before and after he allegedly had contact with Hall.
ﾓJust because they use the same procedure over and over doesnﾒt give it any extra weight,ﾔ the defense attorney said.
Francis said Barb had ample opportunity to hide money or drugs on his person when he was out of the officersﾒ sight. He also pointed out that Barb was alone in Hallﾒs home for about 30 minutes on one occasion.
He asked the jury not to allow Barbﾒs extensive history with drug use ﾓto ruin Mr. Hallﾒs life.ﾔ
Hall was charged last March during the first wave of drug arrests investigated by the Pocahontas County Sheriffﾒs Department and the Marlinton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police.
Of those arrests, some of the defendants have pled to lesser and included offenses. Hall is the only defendant thus far to stand trial.