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Casto contesting marijuana charge

Wed., March 23, 2011, 10:29 a.m.


PULLMAN – Washington State University basketball player DeAngelo Casto was cited for possession of marijuana, less than 40 grams by the Pullman Police late Tuesday, but Casto is contesting the charge.

Pullman attorney Timothy Esser, who is representing Casto, filed a not guilty plea on Casto’s behalf with the Whitman County District Court on Wednesday.

Esser and retired Whitman County superior court judge Wallis Friel accompanied Casto late Tuesday night when Casto met with the Pullman police and was issued a citation.

Casto would have received the citation at the time of search, according to Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant, but the officer did not have any tickets with him.

“It really came down to a bookkeeping issue as opposed to preferential treatment or anything like that,” Tennant said.

Casto and the officer made an agreement for Casto to come in the next evening and that’s what happened, Tennant said.

In addition to the not guilty plea, Esser filed a motion to suppress any evidence collected in the search of Casto’s residence, calling the search a violation of Casto’s rights.

“This case is never going to get to first base,” Esser said in an interview Wednesday. “This case will be dismissed. There was absolutely no compliance with constitutional privacy interest requirements.”

Casto was suspended indefinitely Tuesday from the basketball team for a violation of team rules, though the specific violation was not revealed in Washington State’s media release.

Esser said he had talked with Washington State coach Ken Bone late Tuesday and asked that, given the nature of the incident, Casto’s suspension be rescinded pending resolution of the charge. As of Wednesday morning, Esser said he had not heard from Bone.

WSU sports information director Bill Stevens said Casto’s suspension was for a violation of team rules and that has not changed.

The Cougars (21-12) host Northwestern (20-13) tonight at 8 in the National Invitation Tournament’s third round. The winner advances to next Tuesday’s semifinal in New York City.

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