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Carter trial begins; charged with possession of drugs, weapons offenses

Attorneys presented opening statements in record time as trial in Kingman opened Tuesday for a Mohave Valley man facing drug and weapons related charges. Prosecutor Jaimye Ashley and defense attorney Melissa Barry spent less than five minutes addressing the jury at the start of trial for Joseph Carter, 42.

Carter is charged with possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and two misconduct involving weapons counts.

Ashley said a December 2016 search of a shed outside Carter’s home produced the seizure of numerous little baggies containing small amounts of methamphetamine, some of them holding just residue. She told the jury that experts will testify that there was a usable amount of the drug, justifying conviction on the possession charge.

Ashley said recovery of a handgun from under the seat of his vehicle and a rifle in a room in his home should bring convictions for the misconduct involving weapons charges as there is no dispute that Carter is a prohibited possessor, by virtue of prior felony convictions. And Ashley said recovery of three home-made pipes used to smoke meth were found under two sinks inside the defendant’s residence.

“You’re going to find him guilty of that,” Barry told the jury. She said the defense is conceding conviction on the drug paraphernalia charge.

But Barry said she will fight for acquittal on the other counts. While conceding that her client is a prohibited possessor, Barry indicated she will contest whether the state can prove that he actually possessed the weapons and the contention that he possessed the methamphetamine as well. The trial is being conducted before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert