A Brown County jury today found an Aberdeen man guilty of two of the three drug-related charges he faced.
The jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for about an hour and 20 minutes before determining that Shawn A. Duffy, 35, was guilty of unauthorized possession of methadone and possession of drug paraphernalia. Duffy was acquitted of keeping a place for the use or sale of drugs.
He requested a presentence investigation and will not be sentenced until it's completed.
Duffy was arrested March 17, 2011, after law enforcers found prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia in his motel room. He's been in jail since. Duffy had prescriptions for most of the medications discovered.
In her closing arguments, Lori Ehlers, chief deputy state's attorney for Brown County, said one of the prescription drugs found in Duffy's room was methadone but that he had no prescription for the painkiller. Law enforcers also found six so-called snort tubes in the room, Ehlers said. Those are tubes used to inhale crushed drugs.
Ehlers argued that the snort tubes were evidence that others were in the room using drugs. But, Christopher Dohrer, Duffy's court-appointed attorney, said that there was no convincing evidence that that happened. And, Dohrer said, Duffy having a small supply of medications prescribed to him in the room does not amount to keeping a place for the improper use of drugs.
Under state law, it's not illegal for somebody to misuse his own prescription drugs by, for instance, taking more than the amount prescribed, Dohrer said.
Duffy's trial began Wednesday. Judge Scott Myren presided. Duffy, who moved to Aberdeen from Vermont, had not been in Aberdeen long before his arrest. He was staying at the White House Inn.
Both state and federal judges have noted that the proceedings in Duffy's case have been drawn out but have declined to dismiss charges against him. Duffy has claimed that he's not getting a speedy trial and that his legal rights have been violated.
Generally, unauthorized possession of methadone is a felony is punishable by as much as 10 years in prison and a $20,000, but because Duffy admitted Thursday that he has previous felonies, he is considered a habitual offender. As a result, the maximum penalty he faces on the methadone charge is 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor.