Victory for The Friendly Market in Oklahoma

May 8, 2018

The verdict is in for the trial against a Norman city councilman and his business partner, the owner of The Friendly Market.

Robert Cox and Stephen Holman were found not guilty on all counts. The DKT Liberty project supported this case by paying for Cox’s and Holman’s defense.

The two were accused of a felony and several misdemeanors for selling drug paraphernalia.

The state raided The Friendly Market in Norman back in 2015 because the store stocked glass pipes, which the state called drug paraphernalia.

But, the jury didn’t buy it.

The trial against Cox and Holman lasted an entire week.

This is the third trial Cleveland County prosecutors have lost against workers at The Friendly Market.

Brecken A. Wagner, a senior partner with Wagner & Lynch, represented the store.

“It is a surprise to me,” said Wagner. “We thought they might [drop the charges] after the first trial. We thought they might do it after the second trial. We thought they might do it after the third trial.”

Friendly Market juror Melissa Costello said she felt the prosecution of the Friendly Market defendants was a waste of public time and money.

“I was not impressed with the state’s case.  I just didn’t believe that Robert or Stephen had done anything wrong,” Costello wrote. “The more I heard about The Friendly Market and all of the items it sold (other than glass pipes), the more I wish I’d known about it before it was closed down. I would have liked to have shopped there, and it didn’t bother me one bit that they sold glass pipes.”

Juror Betty Gilson echoed Costello’s sentiments and also said she and other jurors felt intimidated when local law enforcement filled the courtroom when Norman police Chief Keith Humphreys testified during Cox and Holman’s trial.

“I wondered, ‘Why am I here?’” Gilson wrote. “I did not see the point in all of this. I did not see where anyone broke the law.”

The Friendly Market has since reopened at a new location and is doing more business than ever before.