Thomas Cunningham hit with 18 felony counts, possible years in jail, over "pot brownie assault"
Update: On Monday, we reported about the arrests of CU students Thomas Cunningham and Mary Essa for "pot brownie assault" -- secretly feeding a professor and classmates dosed sweets, prompting three hospitalizations; see previous coverage below. Cunningham was originally busted on suspicion of four felonies, but yesterday, he was charged with eighteen carrying the potential of years in jail -- and the same boom will be lowered on Essa today.
Pics, video below.
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Cunningham has been named in eight counts apiece of second-degree assault and inducing the consumption of a controlled substance; the figure corresponds to the number of people who consumed the brownies, with three, including associate professor Celine Dauverd, requiring hospitalization. The accusations are topped off by two additional conspiracy counts, since Cunningham and Essa are said to have collaborated on the stunt.
The potential punishment for conviction on all these allegations? The sentencing guidelines for second-degree assault range from two to six years in prison, while the inducing consumption counts could net one to three years in stir.
Even if Cunningham and Essa, who's expected to face identical charges today, were convicted in every instance, the odds of their sentences maxing out, or running consecutively rather than concurrently, are mighty slim. But the size of the book being thrown remains startling, especially considering that Cunningham and Essa are essentially being prosecuted for a stupid joke gone wrong -- one that resulted in no serious or permanent damage to anyone.
Fortunately for all concerned, the district attorney handling the matter is Stan Garnett, who's consistently shown a willingness to be reasonable in quirky cases like this one, including ones that have gotten enormous publicity.
Continue for more about the "pot brownie assault," including a video and booking photos.