Judge Dismisses Drug Charges
SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (AP) _ Entertainer Joey Heatherton’s handbag was searched illegally when she was arrested on drug charges, a judge ruled Thursday, prompting the prosecutor to say he would drop the case.
″Without the evidence, we have no case, so we’ll move to dismiss,″ said Rockland County District Attorney Kenneth Gribetz.
Ramapo Town Justice Arnold Etelson said the search was illegal because the entertainer was not advised of her right to refuse to consent to the search.
Miss Heatherton, 42, was arrested Aug. 30, 1986, after she allegedly assaulted her former manager and lover, Jerry Fischer, 45, during an argument over her faltering career.
She allegedly told police who she was and when they didn’t believe her, handed them her pocketbook. While seeking identification in the handbag, police discovered a tin foil packet and a vial with a white powdery substance.
Authorities said the substance was less than a gram of cocaine, which constituted a seventh-degree possession charge, a misdemeanor.
Fischer later dropped the assault charges against Miss Heatherton. Miss Heatherton’s attorney, William Kunstler, moved for suppression of evidence in the drug case, claiming the search was illegal.
Miss Heatherton, the daughter of TV’s ″Merry Mailman,″ Ray Heatherton, has appeared in movies, TV, and nighclubs and is preparing to make a stage comeback, said Kunstler.