Cape residents face drug charges

Friday, May 14, 2004

One of the initial graduates of Cape Girardeau County's drug court had his case bound over after his appearance in court on drug trafficking charges.

Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp of the 32nd Circuit Court, Division III, bound over the case of William Corley and took under advisement that of Terri Adele. Both are charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia

Corley was one of the first graduates of the county's drug court, according to Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle. He had pleaded guilty March 11, 2002, to felony possession of a controlled substance. He was allowed to go to drug court, a program that lasts between 18 months to two years. Offenders are given counseling; once their drug court course is completed, their probation is also completed and their case is then closed.

"He is one of the unfortunate few nationally and in our program who didn't succeed," said Steve Narrow, drug court administrator.

According to Narrow, since the program opened in 2001, only a handful of people have completed it, and Corley was among the first. The 12th and 13th drug court graduates will finish their program next week.

He said it is unlikely that Corley will be readmitted to drug court due to the large amount of marijuana he has been accused of having in his possession.

Statewide and nationally, Narrow said, 25 percent of drug offenders are repeat offenders. Among drug court graduates the recidivism drops to 5 percent.

"Bill will be in that 5 percent," he said.

While the numbers are impressive, Narrow said he still doesn't feel good about one of his former clients slipping back into an old lifestyle.

"Those are good numbers but it doesn't feel good right now," he said. "We put a bunch of resources into this guy."

Prior offender

Swingle said that Corley may be charged as a prior offender, which could affect his sentence if he is found guilty in the current case.

Corley and Adele were arrested following a search of their home on County Road 553 when sheriff's deputies found what they believe to be a marijuana growing operation in the attic of the couple's home, and nine one-gallon Ziploc bags filled with a substance believed to be marijuana. The bags weighed nearly 10 pounds.

Deputies were called April 20 when a dispatcher received a 911 call regarding a domestic disturbance. According to testimony Thursday afternoon, Corley had called because he and Adele were having a disagreement wherein Adele allegedly broke the windows on the front door of the house, and Corley wanted her to leave.

No one was at home when the deputies arrived, but in their search for possible victims in and around the house, deputies found two duffel bags containing the Ziploc bags of possible marijuana.

After getting a search warrant, the deputies discovered the apparent growing operation in the attic.

Warrants were issued April 20 for Adele and Corley's arrest. Corley was arrested two days later at the courthouse; Adele turned herself in April 23 at the sheriff's department.

335-6611, extension 160

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