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99 problems, but a conviction ain’t one

By: Phillip Bantz//November 7, 2017

99 problems, but a conviction ain’t one

By: Phillip Bantz//November 7, 2017

Welborn Adams, mayor of the small city of Greenwood in the Upstate and a self-proclaimed “world class napper,” has gone viral for quoting a world class rapper.

After a jury found him not guilty of driving under the influence following a mere five minutes of deliberation, Adams took to Twitter and proclaimed: “Not guilty, y’all got to feel me.” The 51-year-old, who is married and has five children, borrowed the line from Jay-Z’s hit single “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” on The Blueprint album.

“It was a song that I had listened to a lot,” Adams said in an interview. “It’s a favorite song of mine. And it was how I was feeling at the moment.”

Adams was charged with drunken driving after being stopped at a checkpoint in 2015, as he drove his wife home from her 40th birthday. He allegedly blew a .09 percent on the breathalyzer test, which is barely over the legal limit of .08, and also reportedly flunked a series of field sobriety tests.

But his wife testified that the only thing Adams was guilty of was being a klutz.

“I don’t want to make fun of him,” she said, laughing in court, according to the Greenwood Index-Journal, which covered the trial. “He’s a genius, but he is clumsy.”

Adams’ attorney, Billy Nicholson III of Nicholson, Meredith and Anderson in Greenwood, hurt the prosecution’s case when he was able to get the breathalyzer result tossed based on his argument that a state Highway Patrol trooper didn’t give Adams enough time to read an implied consent form before taking it away from him. Nicholson said Adams had the form for two to three minutes.

“I think it was the appropriate verdict, especially with the evidence presented at trial,” he told Lawyers Weekly.

Some of the Index-Journal’s online readers who weighed-in on the case complained that the verdict smacked of favoritism. One quipped: “He’s the mayor, what do you expect.” And another wrote: “If that had been me, I can assure you that I would have been found guilty, no question. I just hate it when ‘important’ people follow different rules than us ordinary citizens.”

But Adams brushed off the haters like so much dirt from his shoulder.

“I feel like anyone who had been represented by counsel would have had the same outcome I had,” he said. “I actually feel like it [the case] would have been dropped if I wasn’t mayor.”

So far, everyone from The Associated Press to Hip-Hop Wired have taken note of Adams’ courtroom win and tweet. But one voice has been notably absent.

“I still haven’t heard from Jay-Z himself,” Adams said.

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