Louisiana Man Gets Life for Marijuana
It was not the first time Cornell Hood II had gotten in trouble with the law.
He had previously just gotten off probation after three marijuana convictions in New Orleans.
However, he met a much harsher punishment after moving to St. Tammany Parish. A single conviction on the North shore sentenced the 35-year-old man to life in prison, according to the Times-Picayune.
On Thursday in his Covington courtroom, State Judge Raymond S. Childress was able to sentence Hood to life in prison under Louisiana’s repeat-offender law. Court records reveal that on a jury in February, Hood was found guilty of possessing and distributing marijuana from his home in Slidell.
Hood had just moved from eastern New Orleans, to the Slidell area, after admitting on December 18, 2009, in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, to possession with intent to distribute marijuana. For that convicted charge, he received a prison sentence and five years of probation, which was exactly the same penalty he got in 2005 for his first charge.
When Hood made the move to Slidell and switched homes, he also requested for a new probation officer. Just as Hood requested, a new probation officer was assigned to him, and that’s when the officer, Dustin Munlin, drove to Hood’s new home for a regular visit on September 27, 2010.
Not surprisingly, Munlin found almost two pounds of pot scattered around the house, according to court records. Munlin instantly told Sheriff’s Office deputies. Hood was then arrested.
Later, prosecutors charged Hood with one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, the exact charges Hood has previously faced.
Hood’s trial only lasted one day. The evidence presented against him consisted of a digital scale and about a dozen bags containing marijuana, along with $1,600 in cash and a student-loan application with Hood’s name on it.
The Times-Picayune revealed it only took jurors less than two hours to deliberate before convicting Hood of a reduced charge, which normally wouldn’t consist of more than fifteen years on imprisonment. However, Assistant District Attorney Nick Noriea, Jr. upped the ante when he used Hood’s past convictions to argue Hood was a career criminal, worthy of an even worse punishment.
Drug criminals in Louisiana are subject to life imprisonment after they have been convicted three or more times of a crime that exceed a sentence of ten years, as Hood had been.