Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
June 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

'05s plead not guilty in drug case

Three Dartmouth students charged last month with several felony-level drug offenses all pleaded not guilty prior to their scheduled arraignments Tuesday.

Steve DeMarco '05, Eric Testan '05 and Sheanon Summers '05 all decided to waive arraignment and plead not guilty. Testan and DeMarco both pleaded days ago, while Summers filed a last-minute waiver less than an hour before his scheduled arraignment.

Steve DeMarco '05, who faces the most serious charges -- four for possession of cocaine, oxycodone, anabolic steroids and marijuana, and one count of selling cocaine to Testan -- entered his plea July 16. If DeMarco does not appear at his next court date, he must pay $25,000. As part of the conditions of release, DeMarco was ordered not to leave the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Testan and Summers both will have to pay $5,000 if they fail to appear. Testan faces one count of possession of cocaine, while Summers faces one felony count of possession of anabolic steroids, and one misdemeanor count for possession of marijuana.

As part of both Summers' and DeMarco's release arrangements, the two may not have contact with Testan.

The charge of selling cocaine carries with it a maximum jail sentence of seven years, in addition to the less serious possession charges. Although police did not disclose the amount of cocaine DeMarco allegedly sold to Testan, his indictment indicated that it was half an ounce or less.

Their trials are slated to take place in December, that is, if the cases go before a jury. There remains the possibility of plea agreements in the coming months, or even more arrests, as the police case is still open.

Court records contained possible witnesses in the DeMarco case, which Hanover Police Captain Frank Moran confirmed were people interviewed in connection with the case. These included students, non-students, 52 1/2 Lebanon Street housemates and several fellow members of the three defendants' fraternity, Theta Delta Chi. He could not provide details, however, as the case remains open and the search warrant order is still sealed. Moran said that while only three charges resulted from the investigation, more arrests could follow if more information comes to light through court proceedings.

"There are other people that have reason to be concerned," Moran said.

Both the prosecution and DeMarco's attorney, Steve Shadallah, cautioned that the not-guilty plea is only the beginning stage of the process. Shadallah said that he has not yet been provided with Hanover police investigative materials, and thus could not comment on a possible defense. Attorneys for Testan and Summers did not return The Dartmouth's phone calls.

Theta Delt president Matt Nicholson '05 said he couldn't comment on the matter, as the fraternity was not involved in the case. But he did add that Theta Delt holds its members to a high standard of conduct.

"We hold our members accountable to the higher standards set forth by the College, and we expect them to follow the subsequent policies it puts forth for all students to follow," Nicholson said.

Summers and DeMarco -- both charged with possession of steroids -- are former members of the Dartmouth football team. Since being charged last month, Summers has been removed from the team's online roster. Coach John Lyons did not offer comment on the removal or the case in general.

The cases stem from a April 22 car accident on West Wheelock Street in which Testan deposited an amount of cocaine on the side of the road. After the paperwork for the accident was completed, Hanover Police set up a surveillance operation to see if anyone would return to retrieve the drugs. Testan returned in a matter of hours and was apprehended by the police.

When asked where he obtained the cocaine, Testan told the police that he purchased it from DeMarco. With this evidence, the police obtained a warrant to search DeMarco's residence at 52 1/2 Lebanon Street on April 30. Moran confirmed that police found a variety of illegal substances as a result of the search, allegedly belonging to both DeMarco and his housemate Summers.