Judge Rejects Willie Nelson’s $780 Plea Deal on Pot Bust
A West Texas judge says she will not accept a plea deal between the Hudspeth County prosecutor and Willie Nelson’s lawyers because she says it’s not harsh enough. The deal would have required Nelson to pay a $500 fine and $280 in court fees for possessing marijuana.
Judge Becky Dean-Walker told the New York Times that county attorney Kit Bramblett let Nelson off easy because Bramblett is a huge fan.
“He’s supposed to file the charge he feels is appropriate,” Judge Dean-Walker said of Mr. Bramblett in a telephone interview. “Not what he feels he should do for his favorite singer. It is up to the judge to agree or not.”
Nelson, 78, was arrested November 26 at a border crossing in in Sierra Blanca, Texas after a Border Patrol agent smelled marijuana coming from Nelson’s tour bus. A subsequent search allegedly discovered about three ounces of pot.
Meanwhile, Willie Nelson has not slowed down on his advocacy for changing marijuana laws. The singer appears in a new web commercial for the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws. NORML has turned its focus on Texas Congressman Lamar Smith (R-San Antonio), who has threatened to kill a federal bill that would remove pot from a list of controlled substances.
KUT’s music journalism unit Texas Music Matters produced an award-winning 2009 documentary about Willie Nelson. You can listen to it with this audio player, or right click it to download.