Clovis News

Clovis mayor's grandson waives hearing on drug charges

The grandson of Clovis Mayor Harry Armstrong on Monday waived his right to a preliminary hearing and asked for a jury trial on two felony drug charges.

David Armstrong, 25, is charged in Fresno County Superior Court with cultivation of marijuana and possession of the drug for sale. If convicted, he faces as much as three years and eight months in prison.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The preliminary hearing would have determined whether there was enough evidence to order Armstrong to stand trial.

Attorney Douglas Foster, who represents Armstrong, said his client waived the hearing because there was sufficient evidence to order a trial. He said his goal is to settle the case before trial.

"David is a prime candidate for probation because he doesn't have a serious record," Foster said.

A citizen's tip led police to arrest Armstrong in March 2009 on suspicion of driving on a suspended license and a misdemeanor drug warrant. The warrant stemmed from a prior arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, police said.

Armstrong told police he lived with his grandfather, Harry Armstrong, 79, who has been a Clovis City Council member since 1970 and has been mayor for an unprecedented five terms.

Police have said the mayor had no knowledge of his grandson's activities and cooperated with investigators.

At Harry Armstrong's home, the younger Armstrong agreed to allow officers to search his room. There, officers found evidence of marijuana sales, including packaging and weighing materials, police said. Officers also seized several small marijuana plants in containers from a side yard overgrown with vegetation.

Foster said Monday his client remains free on $20,500 bail.

He also said his client has a medical marijuana card that allows him to use the drug to alleviate chronic pain. But the medical card expired about 30 to 45 days before he was arrested, Foster said.

Armstrong renewed the medical card after his arrest, Foster said.

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