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Former UNC player Graves’ deferred prosecution typical deal, DA says

By Beth Velliquette
Correspondent

HILLSBOROUGH The deferred prosecution agreement that an assistant district attorney gave former North Carolina basketball player Will Graves was a typical agreement the district attorney’s office makes with first-time marijuana offenders, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

In fact, the assistant district attorney, Jason Murphy, who offered Graves the deal said Wednesday he didn’t know Graves was a former UNC basketball player. He seemed surprised that anyone was interested in the case when asked about it and had a difficult time distinguishing it from the many other cases he handled on Tuesday.

“I literally had no knowledge,” he said when told Graves was a former UNC basketball player.

Graves, 26, who was booted off the basketball team in 2010 for violating team rules, was renting a home owned by UNC coach Roy Williams in Chapel Hill in December 2013 while he was taking classes at UNC and working as a video coordinator for the team.

According to Chapel Hill Police Officer P. H. Gilchrist’s notes on the citation, Gilchrist and another officer approached the residence to check on it because of “a suspicious condition, possibly a breaking and entering.”

“Officers observed a strong odor of unburned marijuana coming from inside the residence through a broken window and the air vents,” Gilchrist wrote on the citation. “Contacted homeowner, who stated the defendant is currently staying at the house with there (sic) permission. Defendant gave consent to search the residence.”

Following the search, Gilchrist charged Graves with possession of one-half ounce or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In the deferred prosecution agreement, Graves admitted his guilt to simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia and acknowledged that he could be found in contempt of court and jailed for up to 90 days if he fails to comply with all of the requirements of the agreement.

He must not commit any criminal offenses, other than a minor traffic offense, and must pay court costs in the amount of $180 by Jan. 13, 2015.

He also must complete drug education school as provided by the Coastal Horizons Center and pay its $150 fee. Graves must pay the court costs and complete the drug education course and return to court on Jan. 13, 2015.

If he fails to comply with the terms of the agreement, he could be prosecuted for the charges. If he complies, the district attorney will dismiss the charges against him.

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