It took a 12-person jury exactly one hour to sentence defendant Lora A. Forrest to 22 months in a state jail, coupled with a $5,000 fine. Forrest was previously found guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the amount of less than a gram, and the Wednesday afternoon trial served solely to establish a sentence for Forrest.
Tuesday's trial was part of the guilt/innocence phase, in which it took the jury nearly three hours to find Forrest guilty. Wednesday's trial was part of what's known as the punishment phase, which established the extent of Forrest's penalties.
During the sentencing hearing, both the assistant District Attorney Ryan Conway, and the defense attorney, Landon Thompson pled their cases as to how Forrest should be sentenced. In his first case as lead attorney for the 90th district, Conway's strategy during the punishment phase was to point out the growing problem of methamphetamine addiction, along with the societal ills it causes.
“This is your community. This is where you live,” Conway told the jury during his closing argument. “You have to consider the fact that methamphetamine is wreaking havoc across Texas. I'm asking for the full 24 months and $10,000 fine.”
Read the full story in this weekend's edition of the Graham Leader.