JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB)–Thursday marked day four of Zachary Wester’s trial, and Judge James Goodman says they are ahead of schedule. The jury could have the case in their hands as early as next week.
The state called their last witnesses to the stand and showed some thought-provoking evidence. But first, jurors heard more testimony from Zachary Wester’s alleged victims.
“I told him there was no way. That I had not been smoking marijuana. There was just no way,” said Maria Thompson, when recalling being pulled over by Wester.
The most interesting testimony came from law enforcement.
Quinton Hollis with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office discovered marijuana when taking inventory of Wester’s first-aid kit before his patrol car was seized.
“Was there any evidence tape on that bottle?” asks Assistant State Attorney, Thomas Williams.
“No sir,” Hollis responds.
“Was there any kind of evidence or an agency label on that bottle?” Williams asked.
“No,” Hollis replied.
Hollis says he alerted Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Michael Hodges with Internal Affairs.
Hodges later seized and searched Wester’s patrol car and sent his findings to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Dyana Chase with FDLE examined the evidence. She confirms there were plastic ziplock bags, a syringe, containers with suspected marijuana, rolling papers, a pipe, containers with residue, among other paraphernalia.
All of it was reportedly unlabeled leaving no explanation as to why it was in Wester’s trunk.
Williams asked Chase, “Based on everything you viewed in the investigation, it was clear to you where it came from, correct?”
“Yes,” Chase said.
“Was the remaining issue what purpose it was being held for in that location?” Williams asked.
“Yes,” Chase responded.
Captain Kevin Arnold with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says he reviewed Wester’s CAD history to see if anything could explain their discovery.
“When you reviewed those CAD reports for the defendant for the entire month, did you see any kind of a drug seizure documented on those reports?” Williams asked Arnold.
“No,” Arnold answered.
Wester’s Attorney, Ryan Davis then defended Wester’s character.
“Have you ever received any complaints about Mr. Wester planting evidence?” Davis asked.
“No sir,” Arnold replied.
Wester’s attorney asked for an acquittal but the motion was denied.
The jury will reconvene Friday at 8:30 a.m. At that point, the defense will begin calling their three witnesses.
Zachary Wester is also expected to take the stand.