Published August 11, 2010
MOBILE, Ala. – A judge sent the drug possession case against former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell to a grand jury Wednesday despite testimony that the codeine drink found at Russell's home belonged to a longtime friend.
District Judge Charles McKnight questioned the credibility of the testimony given by Marcus Stevenson, who said he made the codeine-laced drink found in a July 5 raid at Russell's home.
Mobile County Sheriff's Deputy Johnny Thornton testified the orange-colored drink in Russell's bedroom appeared freshly poured. Investigators said Russell, who was in the bedroom, told them it was his Kool-Aid. Thornton said it later tested positive for codeine.
Thonton also said there nine people in the house and a codeine bottle without a prescription was found in a cabinet.
Russell's attorney, Donald Briskman, said in an interview with The Associated Press after the hearing that the codeine bottle was in a cabinet at a distance from Russell's bedroom. He said Stevenson told an officer at the home that it belonged to him, not Russell, but they took no action against Stevenson.
"They didn't arrest him at the scene. They targeted JaMarcus. ... He should have been discharged today," Briskman said.
Stevenson testified at the hearing that he mixed the drink and didn't make it for Russell. After the hearing, Stevenson was handcuffed and charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was released on bond.
Stevenson's attorney, Greg Evans, raised objections to the questioning of his client, citing his rights against self-incrimination. He later said Stevenson "was sworn to tell the truth and that is what he did."
Russell was a Mobile prep star and at LSU and became the No. 1 draft choice in 2007 but was released by Oakland this year after three disappointing seasons.
It could be months before the grand jury decides if the evidence warrants an indictment or not.