TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

February 22, 2012

Fritts trial underway in London

Attorney opens by noting Doyle Fritts sold firearm from Hodge’s office


TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — Feb. 22, 2012.pdf

By Carl Keith Greene/Staff Writer

The trial of Doyle Stanford Fritts (aka Stan-Boy) and Jerry Lee Fritts began in U.S. District Court in London Monday afternoon.

U.S. Assistant Attorney Sam Dotson opened the trial by noting Doyle Fritts had sold a firearm that had come from former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge’s office.

Doyle Fritts had, the indictment states, sold a firearm to a man named Larry West.

 Dotson continued discussing how the Fritts brothers had been arrested after selling a total of 18 oxycodone tablets to two cooperating witnesses.

The first sale was three of the pills and the second 15 of the pills.

The indictment issued on Jan. 5 this year, charges in the first count that Doyle Fritts and Jerry Fritts had conspired between December of 2008 and through March 4 in Whitley County on Ted Ball Road, Dotson said.

Detectives from The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had seen the two drug buys and recorded them on audio and video recorders, Dotson said.

The first one, Dotson said, was on Feb. 25 when two cooperating witnesses bought the three pills from Doyle Fritts. In the video, Dotson said, Jerry Fritts was seen showing up during the sale.

Later, another couple of cooperating witnesses made another buy of the oxycodone from Doyle Fritts, Dotson said.

There, 15 tablets were bought.

Dotson closed his opening by saying that all the information that comes through the trial will “establish that both are guilty.”

Eric Edwards, Doyle Fritts’ attorney, opened by telling the jury that the United States will have to prove each element of the trial and prove the things had to happen.

The jury should ask themselves if the facts prove a particular element in the trial. The jurors should consider each count of the indictment, Edwards said, when considering guilt.

He went over each count and discussed how it would affect Doyle Fritts.

Attorney Michael Murphy brought up how Doyle Fritts is different from Jerry Fritts.

He told how Jerry Fritts had been away from Doyle Fritts from December 2008 to just before moving into his mother’s home alongside the home of Doyle Fritts.

He added to the jury that Jerry Fritts had been away from Doyle Fritts for that length of time and could not have conspired with Doyle Fritts.

Jerry Fritts had no real activity in selling drugs with his brother, Murphy said.

He noted that Jerry Fritts had just showed up at the end of pill purchases in February and March and was not involved in the sale.

Jerry had come back to Ted Ball Road to live in his mother’s home because he had no money, Murphy said.

Following the openings, Todd Tremaine of the ATF took the witness stand to discuss the investigation of Doyle Fritts and Jerry Fritts and how they managed the sales of the drugs.

Dotson’s questioning drew out of Tremaine how he and other officers sent cooperative witnesses to buy from Doyle Fritts and Jerry Fritts.

He was on the stand to bring several recordings made of the purchases into evidence.

He described the purchases as Dotson had in his opening.

Edwards then questioned Tremaine.

Edwards asked Tremaine about the purchasing of the pills and about Doyle Fritts whom he said was the only of the two Frittses who sold to the cooperative witnesses.

Murphy asked Tremaine about the cooperative witnesses who came to buy the drugs from Doyle Fritts the second time.

Tremaine told him that the pair were charged with burglary in Whitley County and they told him that they wanted to get into the drug court to help them get off drugs.

Tremaine said he had contacted the Whitley County Commonwealth’s Attorney and asked him to see if he could get into the drug court.

Tremaine explained about the second purchase of 15 oxycodone tablets when the cooperating witness bought the tablets and had been given $500 to buy them.

When the buy was done he had given Doyle Fritts what he thought was $480. But when the witness came back to Tremaine they found that he had actually given him $380. So the witness called Doyle Fritts on the phone, explained the missing $100 and they decided to meet at a local food store and the witness gave Doyle Fritts the money. Jerry Fritts was not at that exchange, but had waited near the grocery store away from Doyle and the witness.

The trial resumes on Wednesday.