High-profile attorney arrested on drug delivery charges

(WBIR) A high-profile Knoxville attorney was arrested Tuesday for delivering prescription pills, according to court documents and the TBI.

On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Bruce Poston, 67, on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, one count of attempting delivery of a controlled substance, and driving on a suspended license.

According to the presentment to the grand jury, investigators said Poston delivered hydrocodone to an unnamed person on three separate occasions, on January 23 and twice on February 4.

In a press release, TBI said a woman came to the Knox County District Attorney General's Office and told them Poston was supplying her with money and pills. She also claimed they had a sexual relationship. She told investigators that Poston has represented her husband in a criminal case and claimed that he mishandled the case to further his sexual relationship with her.

TBI said an undercover investigation into Poston confirmed the woman's story.

After the grand jury indictment, Poston was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Knox County Jail. He posted a $3,000 bond, and was released.

The Knox County DAG's office recused themselves from the case. Retired Sullivan County District Attorney General Greeley Wells will prosecute the case.

Poston is a criminal defense attorney who has represented several high profile clients including Eric McClean. Poston convinced a jury in September 2007 that McClean killed his wife's teenage lover accidentally despite his confession. McClean received a 90 day sentence and 12 years probation.

In October of 2007, he represented Knoxville mall shooter William Johnson. Johnson is serving a life in prison sentence for killing a store clerk after a dispute over a purchase, then holding a customer captive and getting in a gun fight with police.

That same year he was assigned to represent Letalvis Cobbins, one of the four defendants charged in the Channon Christian and Chris Newsom case. Judge Baumgartner removed him from the case and accused him of contempt.

He also served as Campbell County High School shooter Kenneth Bartley's attorney at one time.

Poston has 64 active cases in the Knox County Justice Information Management system right now. He had a trial scheduled for Tuesday but the judge assigned another attorney to the case. The TBI arrested Poston at the city county building Tuesday morning.

University of Tennessee Law Professor Dwight Aarons said Poston is innocent until proven guilty and can technically still represent his clients in court, but may have to give a representation before a judge.

"The better thing for the attorney to do is to have his cases recessed," said Aarons. "Attorneys are people too."


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