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Judge Denies Retrial in Bizarre Pot Case



An unusual case involving an extramarital affair, a Jamaican kickboxer and a giant box of marijuana has led to charges of judicial misconduct and missing evidence in Henrico County Circuit Court.

On Monday, Nov. 13, defense attorney Anthony Spencer stormed out of a Henrico courtroom after a heated exchange with Circuit Court Judge James E. Kulp. Spencer's client, Gregory Gagelonia, aka Jerome White, was convicted of felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute in April. But Spencer says he didn't receive a fair trial, namely because two key pieces of evidence were never introduced in court.

But that's not what sparked the exchange. In Spencer's motion for retrial, he claimed that Judge Kulp violated state law by independently contacting a detective in the case and having a brief conversation about missing evidence.

At a hearing Oct. 26, Kulp admitted to contacting the detective and being informed of the potential status of missing evidence. That's a clear violation of Canons of Judicial Conduct for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Spencer says.

Kulp disagrees. He fired back at Spencer Monday, explaining that all he did was contact the detective "simply to ask him whether or not the investigation had been completed." The internal affairs unit of Henrico Police is investigating the whereabouts of the missing evidence — in this case a cell phone, and a videotape of Gagelonia chasing after a postal carrier.

Gagelonia, who is being held at Henrico County Jail, disputes the charges against him. He says he was merely sleeping with his friend's girlfriend when a package arrived at his friend's apartment, and he signed for the package not realizing what was inside. He says the box, which contained 15 pounds of marijuana, wasn't his.

Gagelonia is a 6-foot-4, 260-pound native of Kingston, Jamaica, a rising kickboxing star who hasn't lost a professional fight. He fired his previous attorney, Brent Jackson, shortly after being sentenced to 11 years behind bars.

Spencer has already filed an appeal. At various times during Monday's hearing, he became animated and flustered. At one point, Judge Kulp scolded Spencer for using the term "false" in his pleadings because the word implied "an intention of falsehood."

Spencer objected. "Your honor, that's not a correct definition of false," he shot back. S

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