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Sly Stone Pleads Not Guilty to Cocaine Charge

Funk legend insists he did not own the drugs found in his clothing

June 16, 2011 10:00 AM ET
Sly Stone performs at Coachella, April 18, 2010.
Sly Stone performs at Coachella, April 18, 2010.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Reclusive funk legend Sly Stone has pleaded not guilty to possession of cocaine in a Los Angeles court yesterday. Stone – who has a history of drug abuse – was arrested in April after police pulled over a van he was in for a minor traffic violation. Rocks of cocaine were found in the clothing of both Stone and the driver of the vehicle.

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According to Peter Knecht, one Stone's defense attorneys, the drugs did not actually belong to the Sly and the Family Stone frontman. "A lot of musicians hang out with people who have drugs," Knecht said. "How are they supposed to know?"

Stone is set to appear in court in Van Nuys, California for a pretrial conference on July 19th. His arraignment was originally scheduled for last week, but the singer was briefly hospitalized for heart problems.

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