Former Deputy Found Guilty; Fine Only, No Prison Time
Following a four-day trial in Houston, Mo., and after three hours of deliberation on both the guilt phase and the punishment phase of the case, a Texas County jury found former Douglas County Deputy James Verow guilty on four of five charges.
The charges against Verow, 35, involve the stealing and distribution of illegal and prescription drugs.
In the punishment phase of the trial, the Texas County jury recommended a fine only on each count. Judge Charles Curless, of Lamar, followed the jury’s recommendation and assessed fines and costs totaling approximately $5,000.
The case was moved to Texas County on a change of venue filed by the defendant.
Asked why only a fine, Prosecuting Attorney Roger Wall said because that’s what the jury decided. In his opinion, he said, in 95 percent of the cases the jury usually gets it right.
Wall said he has talked to several of the discharged jurors since the trial, and their concern was that Verow, as a former law enforcement officer, would be in grave danger if committed to jail or prison.
Asked if he was satisfied with the outcome, Wall replied in the affirmative.
“The State of Missouri believed htat Verow was guilty as charged and ashould never be allowed to be a cop again,” he said. “In this particular case, because the defendant had a perfectly clean record of no prior convictions, sentencing was totally up to the jury and the state accepts the jury’s decision and respects that decision.”
The state was represented by Douglas County Prosecutor Wall and the defendant was represented by Ava attorney Karen Bates-Crouch.
On Count I, conspiracy to distribute oxycontin, Verow was found not guilty.
Guilty verdicts were returned on Counts II-V, as follows:
Conspiracy to distribute hydrocodone with charged conspirator Anna Moreland;
Conspiracy to steal narcotics from the offices of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department with charged conspirator Casey Stephens;
Conspiracy to distribute morphine/alprazolam with charged conspirator Casey Stephens; and
Conspiracy to distribute marijuana with a named but uncharged conspirator.
In another case, Verow was scheduled to appear for trial on charges of tampering with a witness and harboring a fugitive in Pulaski County on a change of venue from Douglas County. The defendant requested a continuance from the trial date and no new date has been set by the court at this time.