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CHARLESTON -- Marijuana possession charges against a woman were dismissed after she and a co-defendant claimed the drugs belonged to him alone.

That was a prosecutor's explanation for the move in the case against Zarihiya S. Cartman, who was one of two people accused of having the marijuana at a Charleston residence on June 12.

Cartman, 20, for whom court records list addresses of 1519 12th St., Charleston, and in Chicago, was charged with possession of cannabis and possession with intent to deliver, both felony offenses.

Charleston fire crews discovered the marijuana at the Charleston residence when they responded to a report there of a cat stuck inside a wall, according to Coles County Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf, who prosecuted the case.

Cartman and the residence's other occupant, Devon R. Foster, were both arrested and charged, and Foster pleaded guilty last month.

According to Wolf, Cartman denied that the marijuana was hers and claimed it belonged only to Foster, who gave the same account. Foster's confession and guilty plea led to the decision in Cartman's case, Wolf explained.

Circuit Judge James Glenn granted Wolf's motion to dismiss the charges against Cartman, who was represented by attorney Patrick Lee.

Foster, 25, for whom court records show the same Charleston address, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years of probation with his guilty plea to a possession with intent to deliver charge.

In other cases in court recently, Glenn accepted guilty pleas from:

  • Tiffany M. Toothman, 34, whose address on record is 26965 State Highway 133, Oakland, to an obstructing justice charge accusing her of lying to police investigating a battery at her residence on Jan. 6.

Toothman admitted hiding one of the battery suspects, Eric N. Marcrum, and she was sentenced to two years of probation.

The sentence was the type of probation known as second chance, which allows for no record of a conviction if completed successfully.

Terms included an evaluation for substance abuse treatment and jail time that was stayed, meaning she won't have to serve it if she follows her sentence's other requirements.

Glenn accepted a plea agreement that State's Attorney Jesse Danley and Assistant Public Defender Terese Matthews recommended.

Marcrum, 30, for whom records show a Hume address, and James C. Arnold, 39, whose address on record is in Oceanside, Calif., were arrested for allegedly attacking a man at Toothman's residence.

Both men pleaded guilty in January, with Arnold entering his plea to a reduced charge, and each man was sentenced to two years of probation.

  • Blake M. Russell, 21, for whom records show an address in Joy in Mercer County, to a charge of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.

Russell was accused of having about eight ounces of marijuana in his vehicle when police stopped him for a traffic violation on Illinois Route 16 just west of Charleston on Dec. 12.

He was sentenced to two years of first offender probation, another type of sentence that allows no record of a conviction if completed successfully. Terms included a treatment evaluation, various fines and court fees, and stayed jail time.

Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher and defense attorney Tom Bruno recommended the plea agreement.

  • Bailey J. Brigham, 23, for whom records show addresses in Mattoon and in Lerna, to a property damage charge alleging she damaged a woman's car on Aug. 3.

An aggravated battery charge accusing Brigham of hitting a man during the same incident was dismissed and she was sentenced to two years of second chance probation.

Terms included an evaluation for substance abuse treatment and other counseling, payment of restitution and fines, and stayed jail time.

She was also ordered to have no contact with the others involved in the incident, which records say took place at the McDonald's restaurant at 103 Dettro Drive, Charleston.

Wolf and Public Defender Anthony Ortega recommended the plea agreement.

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Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave

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Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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