Crime & Courts

Pistachio shell defense barred from Round Lake Beach woman's trial

Nancy Pahlman
Nancy Pahlman

A Round Lake Beach woman facing possession charges won’t get the chance to argue her arrest stemmed from pistachio shells she said police mistook for marijuana in her vehicle.

Because 59-year-old Nancy Pahlman wasn’t charged with possession of marijuana, she will be barred from testifying that it actually was pistachio shells in her center console that prompted Spring Grove police to ask the woman to exit her car.

Pahlman is charged with possession of a controlled substance, a felony offense typically punishable by as many as three years in prison.

The charges stem from a traffic stop in December, during which police reported seeing a “green leafy substance” in Pahlman’s vehicle, court records show.

After being instructed to exit her car, Pahlman told officers about the bottle of Tramadol in her coat pocket, her attorney, Philip Prossnitz, said. The pills, she claimed, belonged to a family member, who Pahlman drove to cancer treatment.

If any mention of the “leafy green substance” is brought up during the Oct. 1 trial, jurors will be instructed that Pahlman never was charged with marijuana possession, McHenry County Judge James Cowlin said in court Friday.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd sought to bar testimony on Pahlman’s alleged personal Tramadol prescription, but was denied.

Prossnitz has claimed Pahlman wouldn’t have abused another person’s pills, when she had her own. Pahlman is due back in court Sept. 26.

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