JACKSON – The state Court of Appeals has rejected former Columbus councilman Kamal Karriem”s appeal of the revocation of his probation for testing positive for cocaine.
Karriem was given five years” probation and a 10-year suspended sentence in November 2005 after pleading guilty to charges of misusing city property.
Prosecutors say Karriem failed a drug test in 2008 and tested positive for cocaine use, only months after he completed a drug treatment program.
A judge revoked Karriem”s probation and reinstated the 10-year sentence. In 2009, a judge dismissed Karriem”s motion to have the question reheard.
The Appeals Court rejected Karriem”s claim that he didn”t voluntarily plead guilty to the earlier embezzlement charges and that his attorney should have done a better job.
Karriem, the former Ward 5 city councilman, originally came before the Circuit Court in November 2005 — when he pleaded guilty after being charged with stealing a cell phone from the city.
After Karriem violated two terms of his probation in 2008 — no use of illegal drugs and monthly restitution payments to the Circuit Court — Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens reinstated the original 10-year sentence.
Kitchens also ordered Karriem to “submit to long-term drug and alcohol counseling” and “be evaluated at MDOC for possible psychiatric diagnoses,” according to court documents.
Karriem”s brother, Kabir, is the current Ward 5 city councilman.
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