Tuesday, March 20, 2018

My nephew, Noah Hayes Shuler, faces possession of drug paraphernalia charge after he and his girlfriend were stopped for speeding in rural Sparta, Missouri


Noah Shuler and Aubrynne Russell
(From facebook.com)
Noah Hayes Shuler, my nephew and the son of my lawyer-brother (David Shuler), faces a possession of drug paraphernalia charge in Christian County, Missouri. This is the same nephew who already has a pending speeding charge for driving 88 mph in a 60 zone.

The criminal setting in the speeding case is April 6. David Shuler is his son's attorney in that case, and he entered a plea of not guilty on Jan. 17. But they could not make it to the next hearing date before Noah was in trouble again. (Incident report is embedded at the end of this post.)

What happened? At about 8:15 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2017, Noah was a passenger in a 2013 black Cadillac driven by his girlfriend, Aubrynne Russell. A police officer in Sparta, Missouri (pop. 1,864) stopped them for speeding, and as he approached the vehicle, immediately noticed the odor of marijuana.

The officer ordered Noah and his girlfriend out of the vehicle and told them he was going to conduct a probable-cause search. An inspection of the vehicle produced the following items:

(1) A rubber pipe, with a glass bowl, including marijuana residue. It was found in a box in the back passenger seat;

(2) Two clear sandwich bags containing marijuana residue. They were found in a box in the back passenger seat;

(3) One sandwich bag with marijuana residue. It was found in the glove box.

A property report from the vehicle stop lists the owner of all four items as Noah Hayes Shuler, with an address of 3825 E. San Poppi Court in Ozark, MO 65721. That's where my brother's family of four lives.

Springfield attorney Russell Dempsey represents both Noah and Ms. Russell in the drug paraphernalia/speeding case.

Noah entered William Jewell College in Liberty, MO, in fall 2017 and played on the soccer team -- although his playing time as a freshman was limited to four minutes in one game. Noah's Facebook page recently indicated he now is enrolled at Missouri State University in his hometown of Springfield -- although that information has disappeared from the page.

Did he get kicked out of William Jewell? Did he leave because of his sparse playing time on the soccer team? Did he just want to get back home and attend the same school as his girlfriend?

We sought comment from David Shuler for this post, including several specific questions, but he provided no substantive response.

I know this for sure: I grew up in what used to be a law-abiding family, but something must have changed in the 36 years I lived in Birmingham, AL. Carol and I each have been arrested -- and I even spent five months in the Shelby County Jail as the only incarcerated journalist in the western hemisphere for 2013 -- but none of those arrests were legitimate. They were trumped up as a form of intimidation for my reporting on this blog.

Noah, on the other hand, appears to be facing charges that are legitimate. He might be found not guilty on one or both, but the arrests appear to at least be based on probable cause.

It seems safe to say that he's the first member of our family to ever face two criminal charges at the same time -- certainly in my lifetime. I'm not sure how you even manage to accomplish that -- especially when your father is a lawyer, you've gone to private schools (Greenwood Laboratory School), and you've grown up in luxury (a house in a golf-course community, with an appraised value of $621,300).

So, how did Noah manage to accumulate two criminal charges -- with both cases pending -- well before completing his freshman year of college?

We will examine that and other issues in upcoming posts.


(To be continued)




52 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a total hypocrite Roger.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your nephews need to learn that small-town Missouri isn't a good place to get stopped by cops.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:02 --

Hypocrite? How? Do you even know what the word means?

Anonymous said...

One pipe and three sandwich bags, all with residue? Sounds like somebody is going through the weed in a major way.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, Schnauzer, your nephew is a one-man crime spree.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the apologists will show up soon to defend your nephew for being a druggie.

Anonymous said...

How many more nephews do you have?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like somebody did some quick dumping. The pipe and and bags all were empty, except for residue? If the cop had bothered to search the car, he probably would have found weed sprinkled all under the seat or along the floorboard.

Anonymous said...

The big issue here is this kid already had a pending case for speeding at up to 88 mph (25 over speed limit), and he couldn't stay out of trouble until that case was resolved? I sense a major self-destructive streak here -- an I don't give a s--t attitude. Either that, or he's dumb as hell, and I doubt that's the case.

Anonymous said...

@8:02 --

In order to understand this blog, or any blog on a serious subject, you need to improve your vocabulary. I'd suggest you start by learning what the word "hypocrite" means.

Anonymous said...

@9:49 makes a good point. If the cop bothered to search the vehicle, he probably would have found weed. The chances of the pipe and all three baggies being empty, except for residue, seems nil. With a search, LS's nephew probably would have been looking at a second charge, for possession.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love how the girlfriend stood by her man, ole Noah.

"The weed and stuff? Oh, that's his. Here, want me to show you where it is? And by "it," I mean the weed and stuff that's his."

"The car? That's mine, but the weed is his."

Hah!

Anonymous said...

LS, your brother must be one hell of a parent.

Anonymous said...

Question: The cop says he noticed odor of marijuana as he approached the vehicle, but Noah and GF turned over a pipe and three baggies that all were empty, except for residue. So, where did the MJ go? Someone had recently been smoking it in the vehicle, but it just disappeared?

Anonymous said...

The cop did a crappy job here. To cut a deal so there was no probable-cause search, no mugshots, fingerprints etc. . . . that's not how policing is supposed to work.

Noah caught a big-time break when the cop failed to search vehicle.

legalschnauzer said...

@11:08 --

In defense of the cop, Sparta is a very small town. I think it has a two-man PD, probably with only one person on duty at a time. I'm guessing there was no one available for backup, so the cop maybe wanted to avoid a one-man search, if possible.

If you remember the story about my other nephew being stopped in Clever, MO, that's also a small town, but it's apparently big enough to have had someone available for backup. I'm guessing cops like to have at least one other officer present for a vehicle search -- both for safety and evidentiary/legal reasons.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that you are pretty much ruining your nephew's job prospects for the future?

legalschnauzer said...

@11:33 --

I'd say Noah is doing a pretty good job of ruining his job prospects on his own. This is all public record, which any future employer will be able to find, even if my blog never existed.

I'm sure a lot of people have MJ-related criminal charges on their records and go on to lead perfectly fine lives.

Anonymous said...

Someone in the vehicle was smoking weed to the point that the officer easily could smell MJ odor upon approach. So, where did the weed go? Sounds like someone disposed of it, and the small-town cop wasn't able (or didn't bother) to find it.

Anonymous said...

Where exactly is Sparta, MO, in relation to a city of any size?

legalschnauzer said...

@12:51 --

I'm not an expert on Missouri geography anymore, but I'd say it's about 25 miles SE of Springfield, in the SW corner of the state -- not far from the suburban boom town of Ozark.

Sparta itself, however, is a sad-looking little place. You've probably seen or heard of small towns with lots of charm? That's not Sparta. It's the wide spot in the road that charm forgot.

Anonymous said...

Big Schnauzer fan here. Got to give props where they are due, and one of my favorite parts about LS is the way you embed key documents, so readers can get an inside feel for what's going on. The incident report on the Noah/GF traffic stop adds a bunch to the story -- and it adds greatly to your credibility.

I can't think of other blogs that use the embed feature as effectively as LS does.

Anyway, just wanted to throw out a hat tip and keep up the good work.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:58 --

Thanks for the kind words. I like the documents too and think they add a lot to posts. Sometimes, the docs are probably more interesting than the post.

I should note that quite a bit of effort goes into obtaining those documents. They generally are public records, but you still have to jump through hoops to get them. They don't tend to fall into your lap.

I've been tracking down public records since my days at MU J-School (1976-78), and it's never easy. Some flack or administrator is always trying to keep public records from becoming public.

Anonymous said...

Noah's defenders don't seem to be piping up so much, now that he's been found with drug paraphernalia in his possession. Hmmm. Little hard to explain that one away.

legalschnauzer said...

@1:06 --

Yep, been quiet from the defenders. Only heard from 8:02 so far.

Anonymous said...

By the time your nephew finishes school the US will likely have a similiar “right to be forgotten” policy as the EU. Then he can have all these mud-slinging posts about him taken down and apply for nice corporate jobs like most of his friends who don’t also have a crazy uncle.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:01 --

What's "mud slinging" about this post? That implies it's somehow inaccurate. Can you point to anything inaccurate about it? Can't wait to hear your response.

Anonymous said...

Noah didn't ask for my advice, but I will give him some anyway: Grow up before you kill yourself or someone else.

Anonymous said...

Any guilt about publicizing your nephew's issues with the law?

legalschnauzer said...

Guilt? Not one ounce. The post is accurate, based on public records. That's called journalism, and I don't feel guilty about practicing journalism, whether it involves a family member or not.

Anonymous said...

Noah needs counseling. I hope he gets it.

Anonymous said...

Question for @2:01: Was Noah Shuler charged with possession of drug paraphernalia or not? Was he deemed the owner of a marijuana pipe and three sandwich bags containing marijuana residue? Are you claiming the police report is fake? If not, what's your problem?

Anonymous said...

if you want to hate your brother, fine. if you want to exact vengeance on him, fine. but you need to see that his son is not to blame for the actions of his father. what you are doing is cruel and outright evil. that you cannot see and acknowledge this is the clearest demonstration that you have gone beyond the bounds of human decency.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:35 --

So the "Blame the Journalist School of Thought" has let out for recess. It's "cruel" and "outright evil" to accurately report on an incident that involves an issue of major public concern? It's my fault that Noah was caught with drug paraphernalia? No blame should fall on him? Since you hold such contempt for a free press, maybe you need to move to a country that doesn't have one.

Anonymous said...

@5:35 --

What a stupid comment. Noah Shuler is supposed to be protected because . . . well, he's Noah Shuler? That's your "thinking"? Lame.

Anonymous said...

IT'S NOT NEWSWORTHY! This happens hundreds if not thousands of times a day across the country. Kid gets caught with weed. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! The only reason roger is doing this is to exact retribution on his brother. Again, Noah is not his father. Roger is a sick fuck.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:22, with the foul mouth --

It's not newsworthy?

It's newsworthy in Chicago area: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glencoe/news/ct-gln-blotter-tl-1214-20171207-story.html

It's newsworthy in North Dakorta: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glencoe/news/ct-gln-blotter-tl-1214-20171207-story.html

It's newsworthy in Kansas: http://kuhoops.com/ku-basketball-news/129569119/

It's newsworthy in DC: http://www.pdsdc.org/professional-resources/criminal-law-blog/criminal-law-post/pds-criminal-law-blog/2016/02/03/no-residue-(or-other-additional-evidence)-no-crime-for-possession-of-drug-paraphernalia

It's newsworthy in California: http://kiem-tv.com/2018/02/09/man-arrested-possession-drug-paraphernalia/


I'd say you need some work on your news judgment.

Anonymous said...

Sparta sounds like a Midwest meth town.

legalschnauzer said...

@6:55 --

It looks like a Midwest meth town -- kind of like Dodge City on a bad day, when everybody's been on a bender. We expected to see tumbleweeds blowing down Main Street. Grim place.

Anonymous said...

@6:22 --

Since our country has a major drug problem, that means stories about drug cases aren't newsworthy?

That doesn't make a lick of sense.

Anonymous said...

@6:22 --

Your sense of entitlement is showing.

Anonymous said...

In the land of LS, some are innocent until proven guilty, and some are guilty until proven innocent.

Anonymous said...

Roger, did you read the articles you referenced earlier? First, I would like to point out that the Chicago Tribune should she North Dakota, because that is clearly plagiarism. In other words, you pasted the same link for both areas. Secondly, one of the links was a crime blotter of the crimes reported during a set period. None of the crimes were newsworthy per se on their own. The others you linked had more than a simple possession of paraphernalia charge. One was tied to a rape case from a public figure, one was about what doesn't constitute paraphernalia and one was arrested for paraphernalia along with meth, heroin and oxycodone.

The only times that I can recall you posting about such a minor crime involve your nephews. I don't care that you post it as long as it's true, but it does seem that you have a bias against them. Perhaps you should report on other people's minor crimes. If he gets youthful offender and the record is sealed, will you take the article down?

Also, several people have questioned why the officer didn't find any marijuana. It is possible that they smoked it all and it's possible Noah ate the last bag and placed baggy in the glove box. In either case, there is nothing for the officer to find.

Anonymous said...

As a rule, naughty boys usually date naughty girls (ewwww, gross, she does qualify). Give him a break, LS. At least he plays by SOME of the rules..... hahahahahahaha!!

legalschnauzer said...

@3:20 --

Can you point to anything in the post that says Noah is anything other than innocent until prove guilty?

legalschnauzer said...

@6:51 --

Yes, I made a mistake and published the same Chicago link twice. Here is the correct link for the North Dakota story:

http://www.wahpetondailynews.com/man-charged-with-possession-of-drug-paraphernalia/article_b6a28034-ece9-11e7-a402-3b751cb18444.html

Yes, I read the stories, and they all are about possession of drug paraphernalia, showing your claim to be false that the issue isn't newsworthy.

This is one journalist's blog about justice issues; it's not the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I report on items that come into or revolve around my world. Or I report on issues that fit the blog, brought to my attention by readers. Or I report on public records that connect to my story or issues raised on the blog.

No. 1, I don't consider it to be a minor issue when someone is clocked driving 88 mph in a 60 zone, or someone is smoking weed while driving or riding on a public highway. People die from stuff like that.

Also, you seem to forget that I defended my other nephew, and showed he was the victim of an unlawful search in Clever, MO. Not sure where the "bias" comes from in that.

The youthful offender issue is a hypothetical. For one, I can't tell that Missouri has a youthful offender statute. Two, my story still would be accurate and relevant, so I'm not sure why I would take it down. Three, I'm not sure youthful offender records are sealed; might depend on the state. Anyway, that's an issue for another day.

Anonymous said...

@6:51 --

Here's something you don't seem to understand. This is LS's blog. He makes the news judgments here. And he has the credentials to do it -- a BJ degree from one of the nation's best journalism schools, 30-plus years of experience, and a ranking as top 50 law blog in North America. He knows what he's doing, and he's doing something right.

If you don't like it, start your own blog, using your standards of news judgment. Stories about possession of drug paraphernalia cases are in newspapers all over the country, so your original claim that it's not newsworthy is simply BS.

Anonymous said...

Roger, if you report on this crime, I would expect you to report on every crime may it be major or minor in the world. You will be a busy little beaver...

BTW, your nephew is ugly, at least his lady isn't bad looking...

legalschnauzer said...

@11:31 --

If you expect me to care about what you expect, I expect you to provide your name and contact information so my readers can expect to make a determination about your credibility. Otherwise, we expect you to be a troll with no credibility.

And we all know you don't have the cojones to ID yourself. A coward, like all trolls.

Anonymous said...

Why is it you never refer to anons who agree with you as cowards?

legalschnauzer said...

@8:23 --

First, I have very few commenters who say, "I agree with you, LS," or words to that effect. In fact, I have very few intelligent commenters who mention me at all. They tend to address the subject or go back and forth with each other.

Either way, I have a lot of anon commenters who have something to say about the subject at hand. It might be something funny, something serious, something insightful -- but they add value to what we're doing here.

Trolls, on the other hand, offer nothing. Their goal is to harass and insult me, and they can go to hell. To be blunt, they are stupid. They are spit-ball throwers, and they are easily recognized. I challenge them from time to time by saying (more or less) stand behind your nonsense by providing your ID and contact info, and not once has anyone taken me up on that. I've even given out my phone number, and not once has anyone called.

Hence, the term "coward." They aren't serious, they aren't intelligent, and they have no spine. Worthless.

I use it with them because it fits -- they've earned it.

e.a.f. said...

OMG, they use up valuable court time and services for a case like this. Its a non case, well in Canada, 20 mph over the speed limit, a ticket. The drug stuff, take it away and move on. Police avoid dealing with that type of stuff because it isn't something which really impacts the order of a community unless its a dealer. Even though pot isn't quite legal in Canada, yet for years the police have not been "enforcing" a lot of the laws because really, its a waste of time and money. Police Chiefs were front and center of the legalize pot movement.

I'd suggest he worst thing the nephew did was the speeding because speed does kill.

Its amazing what a country will waste money on and pot is one of them, from an enforcement stand point. Other American states have legalised pot and its too bad it hasn't been legalized nationally. It would be so much less expensive and better for society. Knew a lot of drunks who were physically abuse in the home, pots smokers not so much.