The trial of an Aberdeen man charged with unauthorized possession of a prescription drug has been continued.
In paperwork filed in the case, Shawn A. Duffy's court-appointed attorney, Chris Dohrer, requested the continuance and a competency hearing and evaluation for his client. He wants to know whether Duffy, 34, has a mental health problem, developmental disability or other psychological or physiological condition that prevents him from comprehending the legal proceedings.
Duffy's trial was scheduled to begin today.
He's charged with illegal possession of methadone, keeping a place for the sale or use of drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia. The possession charge is a felony punishable by as much as 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Keeping a place for the illegal sale or use of drugs is a felony punishable by as much as five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor.
Methadone is generally prescribed to relieve pain.
Both state and federal judges have declined to dismiss charges against Duffy, who has claimed he's not getting a speedy trial and that his legal rights have been violated. He's been in jail since his arrest March 17. During a previous mental health evaluation, Duffy was determined to be competent.