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AUSTIN EDITION Austin man convicted of tear gas, drug charges

From staff reports

A Mower County jury found a 31-year-old Austin man guilty Wednesday of felony possession of tear gas and misdemeanor possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle.

The jury returned the verdicts around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday against Jason Lee Reinartz, 2810 Fourth St. S.E., records show.

The trial began Tuesday morning.

During the trial, Judge Fred Wellmann dismissed the first two felony counts of fifth-degree controlled substance crime (subsequent offense) and aiding and abetting a fifth-degree controlled substance crime (subsequent offense), records show.

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Defense attorney Evan Larson had asked the court for a judgment of acquittal, saying the prosecution hadn't shown enough evidence to bring the charges to a jury, Assistant County Attorney Jeremy Clinefelter said afterward.

The two charges dismissed dealt with whether Reinartz possessed the 0.2 grams of methamphetamine found in a vehicle he was driving with a passenger about 4:30 a.m. April 5 in Lansing Township, Clinefelter said.

According to the criminal complaint, police stopped Reinartz for bad driving and found a can of tear gas and a bag with 1.4 grams of marijuana inside. Reinartz isn't supposed to possess tear gas because he has been convicted of a violent crime, the complaint says.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 16.

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