HELENA, Mont. — The Supreme Court has overturned a man’s drug conviction due to the lack of a speedy trial in Roosevelt County.
Justices sent the case back to District Judge David Cybulski to dismiss the charges against Hilario Martin Velasquez. The justices said Tuesday that the state didn’t pursue other avenues for testing evidence after learning the state crime lab had a 9-month backlog.
Velasquez was arrested for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia in September 2013. He was unable to post the $5,000 bond and spent more than 10 months awaiting trial.
Justices also found that Velasquez was held in oppressive conditions because he was not allowed to go outside for at least five months, he couldn’t contact his family because jail phone calls cost $1 per minute and mail sent to his family and attorney was not always delivered.