Sunday, July 1
Jurors found no proof of illegal activity

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- The foreman of the jury that acquitted Denver Bronco linebacker Bill Romanowski of prescription-drug fraud says prosecutors didn't prove the player obtained a diet drug illegally.

Jurors also didn't believe Douglas County sheriff's investigator Jeff Grimwood, said foreman Dean Jakubczak of Highlands Ranch.

Romanowski was acquitted Friday during a trial in which prosecutors claimed the 35-year-old linebacker obtained the appetite suppressant phentermine from prescriptions written for his wife, Julie, and two other people, during the 1998 season, when the Broncos won the Super Bowl.

Investigators said Romanowski took phentermine to enhance his play. The drug is not banned by the NFL.

The defense said Romanowski took phentermine only to suppress his hunger before games and not to improve his play. His lawyers also argued that investigators targeted Romanowski because of his fame.

To make that point, the defense called Grimwood, who testified he and another officer traded high-fives after an interview with Dr. Randall Snook, who wrote the prescriptions.

Jakubczak said a straw poll showed jurors were split 5-7 in favor of Romanowski at the start of deliberations. But when they reviewed each of the four charges, jurors decided they had to clear him.

In jurors' minds, Romanowski did not possess the drugs illegally because the prescriptions, though written under other names, were intended for him, Jakubczak said.

"In Dr. Snook's mind, the ultimate user was Bill Romanowski," he said after the four-day trial ended Friday. "Though he possessed that drug, he possessed it legally."

Jurors also thought prosecutor Michael Spear failed to prove the drug was illegally obtained, he said.

Snook pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully dispensing a controlled substance in the case and received 18 months of probation. He testified he knew it wasn't legal to write the prescriptions in other people's names, but didn't tell Romanowski or his wife that.

Julie Romanowski is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 14 on charges that she conspired to obtain the phentermine for her husband.

Loretta Johnson, the Romanowskis' former friend, pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally obtain a prescription drug.

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