Thursday, March 06, 2008


DWI Defense Attorney Legend Cleared of Charges by Drug Tipster

The Scott County attorney's office dismissed drug charges Wednesday against local DWI / Drunk Driving lawyer legend Sam McCloud, days after a district judge ruled to suppress key evidence.

McCloud, 65, faced three charges, including third-degree possession, after authorities found 90 hydrocodone pills delivered to his post office box in October.

In January, McCloud appeared in his own defense and asked Judge William E. Macklin to throw out the case. The noted DWI defense attorney said the affidavit filed to obtain a federal search warrant allowing investigators to open the package of pills was based on incomplete information.

In particular, McCloud said the tipster, former wife Kerri M. Petterson, was hooked on drugs and set up the shipment.

The judge agreed and on Feb. 27 granted a motion to suppress admission of the pills as evidence.

Without the drugs as evidence, Scott County Attorney Patrick Ciliberto said, his office had to drop the charges. He wouldn't appeal the ruling, he said.

McCloud was not surprised upon learning the charges were dropped.

"It shouldn't have happened in the first place," he said. "I am innocent — it's not just that the judge tossed the evidence out. I'm flat-out innocent."

A related complaint filed by the county's community corrections unit, claiming McCloud missed several mandatory drug screenings as part of his conditional release in the drug case, also was dropped.

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