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Pipe shop owner, manager not guilty in drug-related trial

In this Wednesday, May 3, 2017 photo, Stephen Tyler Holman waves as he walks out of a courtroom in Norman, Okla. While other states across the nation are easing penalties for marijuana use or legalizing the drug altogether, Norman police and its Republican district attorney are taking the opposite tack _ pursuing criminal charges against the now-shuttered Friendly Market shop owner Robert Cox and several his clerks, including Holman, for selling glass pipes in a local store. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma jurors have found the owner and manager of a pipe shop not guilty of selling drug paraphernalia.

A Cleveland County jury deliberated for more than five hours before acquitting Friendly Market owner Robert Cox and manager Stephen Holman, who is also a Norman City Council member.

The crackdown had been mounted by the Norman police and Cleveland County’s Republican district attorney, Greg Mashburn.

The store is no longer open. Cox and Holman had refused plea deals. Cox insisted that all of the items sold in his store could have been used to smoke tobacco and were therefore legal under state law.


This version of the story corrects to make clear that the manager of the shop is a member of the City Council, not the owner.

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