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)

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