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Smithfield man gains chance at drug court

November 20th, 2014 Posted in Opinion

By Sierra Copeland

LOGAN — A Smithfield man accused of multiple drug-related charges declined his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday in 1st District Court, in hopes of being approved for drug court.

Nathan Conner, 38, was charged with a 2nd-degree felony and two class-A misdemeanors for possession or use of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia on Nov. 5. He was also charged with two 3rd-degree felonies for obstructing justice.

“He is the right type of candidate for drug court,” said James Swink, Cache County prosecuting attorney. Both the defense and prosecution were in favor of Conner’s application for drug court.

“By doing this, you are agreeing to waive this preliminary hearing as well,” Judge Brandon Maynard explained to Conner, to which Conner and his attorney Wayne Caldwell agreed.

According to the Utah Courts website, the establishment of drug courts is an effort to combat drug-related crimes. Drug courts better recognize the nature of these crimes, and judges at these courts understand that these crimes will not stop until the drug addiction stops.

Swink also delivered a letter addressed to Judge Maynard from Conner’s parents, who were in attendance. After reading the letter, Maynard set an application appearance date for Nov. 25 at noon. “Mr. Conner, this is a very kind letter from your parents. It says how much they care for you and that they are on your side,” Maynard told Conner. “Hopefully this can fuel your desires to fight these addictions you have.”

Conner simply answered before being taken back to jail, “It does, your honor.”


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