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Police find 600 marijuana plants

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Matured, plants would have potential value of nearly $1 million.

By Calen McKinney

An investigation is still pending, with criminal charges expected, after Taylor County Sheriff's deputies found nearly 600 marijuana plants with a potential value of nearly $1 million at an East Martin Road home last week.

According to a sheriff's office report, the deputies responded to a report of a gun shot at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at 430 E. Martin Road.

Following an investigation, and after executing a search warrant, deputies found an indoor/outdoor marijuana growing operation at the home.

According to Chief Deputy Allen Newton, deputies found James Hutchins with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Taylor County Coroner Terry Dabney pronounced Hutchins dead at the scene.

As a general rule, the News-Journal does not publish the names of those who commit suicide, unless it occurs in public. However, Hutchins' suicide is what began a criminal investigation into a marijuana operation.

While conducting a search of Hutchins' property, the report states, deputies found about 600 suspected marijuana plants and items necessary to grow marijuana.

Read more on this story and others in Monday's print edition.