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Crater's attorney asks that charge be dropped



The attorney for USF point guard Anthony Crater has filed a motion asking for a misdemeanor charge of possession of marjiuana against his client to be dropped.

Crater, who transferred to USF from Ohio State at midseason and will be eligible for the Bulls in December, was arrested in January with teammate Mike Mercer, who was subsequently dismissed from the team. Crater, who was disciplined by coach Stan Heath but allowed to remain with the team, was a passenger in Mercer's car when marijuana was discovered under Crater's passenger seat, according to the arrest report.

Crater's attorney, Dylan Snyder of Tampa, filed a motion seeking to have the charge dismissed, and that motion will be heard in court on June 22. Snyder writes in the motion that Crater admitted to smoking marijuana in the car earlier in the day, and admitted he was going to later smoke the marijuana that was seized, but argues that "circumstantial evidence of drug use, along with mere proximity, is insufficient to prove constructive possession." Crater, he writes, "never admitted to having dominion and control of the marijuana."

If the charge isn't dropped, Crater likely faces no more than probation and community service as a first-time offender. Mercer, however, had been arrested in September on a misdemeanor charge of public consumption of alcohol, and he now faces a court date next week to address both charges.

Mercer, who remains a USF student on course to graduate this summer, had been accepted last fall into a pre-trial intervention program that would have led to the alcohol charge being dropped. But he was rejected from that program in March after the second arrest, along with his failing to complete 16 hours of community service, missing two scheduled appointments and neglecting to pay the supervisory costs associated with the program.

Mercer's Lakeland-based attorney, Thomas Grajek, said Friday he was not familiar enough with the case to comment, and Snyder declined to comment, saying he didn't want to speak publicly about the case.

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