By DAVID FERRARA
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Steven Ficano wept as the clerk read the verdict: not guilty on both counts.
He embraced his lawyers, who had tears in their eyes. A few members of the jury cried, too.
For almost three years Ficano has faced two felony counts, one of which could have sent him to prison for up to 10 years.
With red eyes, the 65-year-old Las Vegas man and his wife hugged and thanked each of the 12 Clark County jurors as they left the courtroom at the conclusion of his four-day trial.
The jurors took about an hour to acquit Ficano on charges of possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to sell.
Prosecutors had argued that Ficano kept far more than he was legally allowed at his northwest valley residence and that he planned to sell the pot.
But Ficano’s lawyers, Dustin Marcello and Mike Miceli, brought in three of Ficano’s neighbors — a firefighter, a former police sergeant and a school district employee — who all said they did not believe he would sell the drug.
The defense noted that much has changed since charges were filed in October, 2012.
“We’re not used to treating it as a medicine,” Marcello said. “Well, those days are over.”