Woman, Who Testifies to Drug Addiction, is Acquitted of Meth Possession for Sale After SFPD Tosses Evidence

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San Francisco, CA – On January 28, 2009, San Francisco resident Tammy Kaake, 47, was acquitted of possession of methamphetamine for sale in violation of California Penal Code section 11378.

In April 2006, Kaake was detained by San Francisco Police Officers Peter Richardson and Michael Moody after a supposed informant reported that Kaake was going to make a drug delivery. According to Kaake, an admitted methamphetamine addict, police searched her car without a warrant and found a digital scale, eight empty baggies, and 15 grams of methamphetamine in a CD case, which she explained was for personal use. The arresting officers testified that they recovered these items from Kaake’s pocket.

“Interestingly, the district attorney argued to the jury that the only way they could acquit my client was if they believed that all of the officers were lying. I guess the jury didn’t have a problem with that,” said Kaake’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Eric Luce.

Kaake denied selling drugs and testified in graphic detail to her tragic history of drug use and addiction, which began in the fifth grade. The District Attorney’s Office never produced the informant and all of the evidence taken from Kaake at the time of arrest was disposed of by the police department prior to trial.

The jury acquitted Kaake after two hours of deliberation. Kaake faced up to three years in prison if convicted.

The mission of the Public Defender’s office is to provide vigorous, effective, competent and ethical legal representation to persons who are accused of crime and cannot afford to hire an attorney. Established in 1921, the San Francisco Public Defender has a long, proud history of providing top-notch representation to its clients, and championing programs that help people turn their lives around.

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