Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Ballpark kisser gets 4 1/2 years

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It will be a long time before David Horton gets a smooch like the one May 7, when the Kiss Cam at Great American Ball Park caught the wanted man on camera in a lip-lock with his girlfriend.That kiss landed the 24-year-old Westwood man in jail after his parole officer spotted him and had him arrested.

Monday, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Melba Marsh put him in prison for 41/2 years - two years on new charges of trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine and 21/2 years for violating probation on a previous felonious assault charge by committing the drug crimes.

"I would just like to apologize to the court and to my family for letting everyone down again," Horton told the courtroom. "I don't know how I got myself wrapped up in this, but..."

"I was wondering that, too, Mr. Horton," Marsh said, cutting him off. "You picked up a brand-new charge and you neglected to tell your parole officer. I, and the entire world, are watching you and wondering that same question.

"Lo and behold you're found again on the Kiss Cam smooch, smooching it up - an image shown the world over. Just how stupid ..."

"I know," Horton replied.

Horton's saga with the legal system began in September 1998 when he was arrested on a felonious assault charge. He served 21/2 years before being paroled on Oct. 21 of last year.

Just five months later Horton was arrested on drug trafficking charges, accused of selling 48 grams of powder cocaine and possessing another 454 grams of the drug.

When his parole officer found out about the drug charges - a violation of Horton's parole - he put a warrant out for Horton's arrest.

Horton wasn't thinking about his legal problems or the possibility he could run into his parole officer when he took his girlfriend to see the Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals.

But his parole officer was.

E-mail sturco@enquirer.com

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