Scientology link to drug case -- 'It was a frame up' Jury concluded
[NOTE: Mr. Jessie Prince was at one time the second in command of the Scientology company. After Prince fled the cult he pretty much went on with his life until many years later he discovered there was a large movement working to expose the organization as a criminal cult. Mr. Prince then came out of obscurity and started telling everyone all he knew about the cult that he himself helped build while working for L. Ron Hubbard. There is no little irony in the fact that Scientology's notoriously mental Mike Rinder comments about murders in Florida needing to be attended to. He and his fellow criminals held Lisa McPherson against her will and starved her to death over the course of 17 days. That trial is still yet to take place]
28 May 2001
Scientology link to drug case keeps jurors from reaching verdict Saturday, May 26, 2001 Associated Press
CLEARWATER -- Jurors in a misdemeanor marijuana case against a prominent critic of the Church of Scientology were unable to reach a verdict after some on the panel suspected the church had set him up.
A hung jury was declared Thursday in the cases against Jesse Prince, who was charged with growing a marijuana plant in his backyard. The jury deliberated for five hours and was split 4-2 in favor of acquittal, jurors said.
Pinellas County Judge Michael Andrews declared a mistrial. Pinellas County Assistant State Attorney Lydia Wardell said it is too soon to say if her office will try again to convict Prince.
Juror Tiffany Scurlock said the evidence showed Prince had marijuana growing in his Largo home, but Scurlock said she had a hard time with the vhurch's involvement in the case.
Private detectives working for the church shadowed Prince for months and befriended him. Then the detective turned informant, reporting to Largo police there was a marijuana plant growing at Prince's home.
"It has a lot to do with entrapment," Scurlock said. "I felt the Church of Scientology had a lot to do with setting him up. I felt he was guilty ... but there was a lot of setting up going on."
Mike Rinder, a member of Scientology's board of directors, said the church wants Prince exposed as a drug user because Prince repeatedly has testified against the church in court cases.
Prince is a former high-ranking church official turned church critic. He is listed as an expert witness on church doctrine in a pending civil lawsuit over the 1995 death of church member Lisa McPherson.
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