Former Atlanta Brave convicted in Cherokee drug case
by Joshua Sharpe
April 09, 2014 12:00 AM | 4938 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Otis Nixon
Otis Nixon
CANTON — After previously maintaining his innocence, famed former Atlanta Braves player Otis Nixon has pleaded guilty and been sentenced for possession of crack cocaine.

Nixon, 55, a resident of Ranger, pleaded guilty March 28 in Cherokee County Superior Court to felony possession of cocaine and possession of a drug-related object and was sentenced to three years on probation, court records show. He will also have to pay a $1,000 fine and do 120 hours of community service.

The former centerfielder’s charges stem from a May 4, 2013, incident when Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies pulled Nixon over on Interstate 575 and found suspected crack cocaine and a pipe, a police report shows.

Asked what illegal act he was admitting to on his petition to plead guilty, Nixon wrote that there were “some unlawful drug(s) in my vehicle.”

The former Brave could not be reached for comment Tuesday. A phone number listed for him on a police report of the incident was out of service.

As part of the sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge David Cannon Jr., Nixon will also have to provide his probation officer with proof he is evaluated or undergoes treatment for substance abuse. He must avoid drugs and alcohol and submit to tests to determine if he has used any substances, court records show.

Deputies pulled Nixon over last May near Ball Ground after another driver called 911 reporting he was weaving. Nixon passed a field sobriety test, but the suspected drug had already been found by then, police said.

A police report of the incident showed Nixon reportedly told deputies the items belonged to his son. “Otis said he was always finding drugs and drug objects left by his son,” an officer said in the report.

Police said they would later find more suspected crack in the backseat of the patrol car after Nixon was arrested.

Previously, Nixon denied the items belonged to him and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Nixon’s attorney, Archie L. Speights, said in March Nixon had decided to accept “responsibility” in the case and had waived his right to a jury trial. Speights couldn’t be reached for further comment Tuesday.

Nixon, who was known for his speed and steady glove, played center field for the Atlanta Braves from 1991 to 1993 and in 1999. He is credited with being instrumental to the Braves taking the 1999 National League pennant.

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