A Monroe County sheriff’s deputy first spotted trouble in the wee hours of Dec. 17. Shortly after 1 a.m., the deputy, who was patrolling Interstate 75, reportedly saw a man texting and driving.
The deputy pulled the car over on the north side of Forsyth and smelled what his report later described as “the odor of raw marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.” There were four young men in the car, a silver Dodge Avenger.
After they all stepped out of the car, another deputy who’d been called to the scene saw one of the men “eating marijuana,” according to a write-up of the incident, which was first reported by the Monroe County Reporter newspaper.
The person eating the weed was identified as Richard Cummings, 17, whom the Monroe newspaper identified as a football player at Hardaway High School in Columbus. However, an online roster of players at Columbus’ Carver High School lists Cummings as a player there.
The car’s driver was 25-year-old LeRon Furr, who in the past has played football at Oklahoma State University and Fort Valley State University. Furr is presently listed on a school website as a substitute teacher at Carver High in Columbus, where he was a member of the school’s 2007 state championship football team.
The sheriff’s deputy’s report of the traffic stop states: “I spoke with Cummings. … He stated he was asleep inside the vehicle, and when I initiated the emergency lights on my vehicle, Furr handed him a bag of marijuana and instructed him to eat it. Cummings stated he was a high school football player and that Furr was his football coach. Cummings stated he felt like he had no choice other than to eat the marijuana.”
Other passengers in the car, Ja’Kobe Ellerbee, 18, a football player at Hardaway