Written by: @kristenshylin_
” I feel like I’m being thrown away by a country I went and served for,” Sean Worsley said in letter from the Pickens County Jail to a criminal justice organization known as Alabama Appleseed, the Washington Post reported.
A Black disabled veteran’s entire life changed when he stopped for gas in Gordo, Alabama, in 2016.
Worsley and his wife, Eboni, were en route to surprise his family in North Carolina when they were approached by a police officer at the gas station for blasting the music too loud.
By the time Worsley lowered the music, Officer Carl Abramo said he had smelled marijuana and demanded to search his vehicle.
Worsley, who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a severe brain injury from the Iraq War, had been prescribed medical marijuana in Arizona to help him cope with nightmares and back pain.
Forgetting that medical marijuana is illegal in Alabama, the veteran was not concerned about the search. Things immediately took a left turn when the officer discovered the prescribed cannabis in his car’s back seat.
Following the encounter with Officer Abramo, Worsley spent six days in jail and was charged with medical marijuana possession. After his arrest, the veteran fought a lengthy legal battle that left him homeless, owing thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Unfortunately, the nightmare that was his reality did not stop there. Nearly a year later, authorities ordered the couple to return to Alabama to avoid being charged with failure to appear in court. Worsley was coerced by law enforcement to sign a plea deal for the 2016 charges.
” They told him that if he didn’t sign the plea agreement that we would have to stay incarcerated until December and that they would charge me with the same charges as they charged him,” Eboni said.
To protect his wife, the disabled veteran signed the plea deal, accepting 60 months of probation, drug treatment, and thousands of dollars in fines, The Post reported.
So what led Worsley to face five years in prison? After the 33-year-old missed a court date in Alabama last February, there was a fugitive warrant out for his arrest.
Because Worsley had a stack of legal debt, he could not reinstate his medical marijuana card. When police stopped him for a traffic stop in Arizona, six months later, they found him with the possession of an illegal substance without a valid medical card.
He was then transported back to Alabama under the order of Pickens County, where he is currently serving five years in prison.
Worsley was sentenced in April, but he is appealing the sentence.
Eboni created a GoFundMe to help cover her husband’s legal fees and his commissary while incarcerated. The fundraiser has already received $28,545 of the $80,000 goal.