Jurors in drug trafficking case call it a day

·3 min read

Jan. 20—LIMA — Jurors deliberated for just two hours Thursday in the trial of a Columbus man charged with felony drug trafficking and weapons offenses before calling it a day.

Testimony in the trial of Kascal Armour ended shortly before noon on Wednesday and, following closing arguments from attorneys and the reading of a lengthy set of jury instructions, the 12-member panel began their deliberations around 3 p.m.

Two hours later they sent a note to Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed saying they had voted to suspend their deliberations for the day. Reed attempted to persuade them to continue discussions into the evening hours but relented and allowed the jurors to return to the courtroom at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

Armour, 28, is charged with nine felony counts, five of which include specifications for the use of a firearm, forfeiture of a gun and forfeiture of $9,160 in a drug case.

He was indicted in the fall of 2020 on charges that include aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound, possession of a fentanyl-related compound, possession of heroin and trafficking in heroin. He was also indicted on two counts of having weapons under disability and possession of cocaine.

Testimony in the trial came primarily from law enforcement officers with the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force and the Allen County Sheriff's Office SWAT team who executed a search warrant on July 24, 2020, at a residence at 543 E. Second St., Lima. Drugs, a handgun and U.S. currency were seized during the raid, according to testimony.

Armour was one of four adults in the residence at the time of the raid but was the only person charged. He did not take the witness stand and the defense called no other witnesses during the two-day trial.

Defense attorney Antony Abboud in his closing arguments to jurors said the state of Ohio had presented a "paper thin case ... based entirely on circumstantial evidence" against his client. He asked jurors to consider that the two individuals who were the target of an ongoing investigation into the sale of illicit drugs at the residence not only were not charged but were not even questioned by investigators.

Abboud said there was no doubt that fentanyl, cocaine and heroin were found at the residence, but he maintained the state had failed to connect his client to those drugs in any meaningful way.

Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Rebecca King-Newman in her closing arguments said that Armour's proximity to the bedroom where 21 grams of methamphetamines, more than five grams of a fentanyl compound and more than 10 grams of heroin were found — along with firearm and a large amount of money — was no accident.

"Reason and common sense say that all that stuff belongs to him," the prosecutor said, pointing at Armour.

SWAT team members of the Allen County Sheriff's Office SWAT team and the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force testified Tuesday that Armour was found inside the Second Street residence during the raid just outside a second-floor bedroom where the weapon, cash and drugs were located.

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