NFL running back and former Aggie Robert Turbin got something of an unusual birthday present last December when charges of marijuana possession against him were dropped in Logan Municipal Justice Court.
The motion from the Cache County Attorney's Office to drop the charges on evidentiary grounds came Dec. 2, coincidentally Turbin's birthday.
Turbin, who plays for the Indianapolis Colts, was a standout running back during his time at Utah State University, from 2007-11. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and was part of their Super Bowl-winning team in 2014.
Defense attorney Mark A. Flores said that while police did find marijuana in a car Turbin was driving last July, the pot belonged to a passenger.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, which means that it can be re-filed by prosecutors after reconsidering the evidence and the charges. Deputy Cache County Attorney Griffin Hazard said it's possible that the passenger could be charged for possession, but that's far from certain, as the Attorney's Office is still examining the case.
The dropped charges originated when the pro athlete was visiting Logan last July for the Robert Turbin Football Academy youth camp, which raises money for children with disabilities.
"Rob is very community-oriented," Flores said. "These were not his drugs; I think it was pretty difficult for Rob to be accused of this, because it's just something he doesn't do."
During his visit, Turbin was stopped by a Logan City Police officer just before midnight on July 8 for reportedly running a stop sign at 800 North and 250 West. The officer noticed the smell of marijuana smoke during the stop, and a subsequent search of the vehicle by K-9 found one rolled joint inside the car, according to police.
Flores said Turbin was tested for drugs after the incident and was found clean, and video from an officer's body cam of the incident likely also helped persuade the Cache County Attorney's Office to drop the charges.
"Robert was obviously innocent, and the Cache County Attorney remained objective about it," Flores said. "And once they were able to analyze all the evidence, (they) recognized his innocence and did the right thing and dismissed the case."