Medical issue delays drug sentencing

Fri, 05/23/2008 - 3:12pm
By: John Munford

A Hampton man convicted of trying to buy a half-pound of methamphetamine from undercover drug agents avoided sentencing Wednesday afternoon after claiming a medical malady.

Earnest Ray Toney, 56, was wheeled from the courtroom on a stretcher by paramedics after he claimed his left side was numb. Toney's attorney made the announcement seconds after he was brought into the courtroom for sentencing by Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson.

A jury had found Toney guilty of criminal attempt to traffick in methamphetamine and also possession of methamphetamine. During the three-day trial he claimed he was negotiating to buy a motorcycle, not $6,500 in crystal methamphetamine.

The deal, which Toney arranged with an undercover agent of the Fayette County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force was recorded on a surveillance video that was seen by the jury. It occurred in the parking lot of the Home Depot in Peachtree City.

Judge Hankinson asked courtroom deputies to summon the paramedics after Toney's attorney made the announcement.

The attorney said he was told that Toney has a history of heart problems.

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