YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Willie Nelson's weed-related plea deal rejected by a Texas judge

July 07, 2011|Christie D'Zurilla | Los Angeles Times

So, about Willie Nelson and that plea agreement he thought he had in Texas: A judge on Wednesday isn't playing ball, saying the country singer shouldn't get what she sees as special treatment regarding his marijuana-related arrest in El Paso last November.

Talk about bumming that high. Prosecutors had agreed June 8 to reduce charges against Nelson, 78, and allow him to stay out of jail if he paid a $500 fine and $280 in court costs, with the judge expected to clear his record if he stayed out of trouble for 30 days. The singer -- who was arrested after officers at a checkpoint smelled pot smoke on his tour bus and reported finding six ounces of weed onboard -- would plead no contest to possession of drug paraphernalia.

"All he has to do is sign the papers and get me a cashier's check for the money," prosecutor C.R. Bramblett said at the time.

Not so fast, Mr. Prosecutor. Hudspeth County Judge Becky Dean-Walker said Wednesday that she wouldn't sign off on Bramblett's deal. This is the same judge whom Bramblett suggested in March had ordered Nelson to sing to "Blue Eyes Cryin' in the Rain" in court -- and the very same judge who later described Bramblett's suggestion as a joke that got out of hand.

Regarding Nelson's deal, the prosecutor "doesn't do that for anybody else," Dean-Walker told the Associated Press, adding that Nelson should be charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, which carries up to a year in jail.

In April, "Gossip Girl" actor Chace Crawford opted for a pretrial diversion program in the wake of a marijuana-related arrest in Plano, Texas, the previous summer. Crawford, who reportedly had a joint in his car, will see his record cleared in exchange for doing 24 hours of community service, reporting monthly to a probation officer and obeying all laws for a year.

Bramblett did not return a call from the Associated Press on Wednesday. Nelson may now have to go to trial.

Read more entertainment news at the Los Angeles Times' Ministry of Gossip blog.

Los Angeles Times Articles