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Hamer drug charges headed to trial

MARSHALL — Charges of drug possession against Lincoln County Commissioner Richard Hamer could be headed to a trial next week, but it’s not certain. In a Tuesday afternoon hearing, Lyon County Attorney Rick Maes said the prosecution still hadn’t received a laboratory analysis report that would be used at the trial.

If the report isn’t in by Friday, Hamer’s trial will be delayed until January, District Court Judge Michelle Dietrich said.

In March, Hamer was charged in Lincoln County District Court with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a synthetic cannabinoid, and possession of drug paraphernalia. A criminal complaint alleged that law enforcement found three grams of meth and a substance believed to be synthetic marijuana in a Hendricks shop building owned by Hamer and his wife. The complaint said law enforcement received a tip that Hamer was allegedly using meth and selling it to other people out of the shop.

Hamer pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his case was scheduled to go to a jury trial in Marshall on Nov. 13. However, at a hearing Tuesday, Maes said he was asking for a continuance. Maes said he had not yet received an analysis of the alleged drugs from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Maes said the BCA had known about the trial date since Hamer made his not guilty plea, and Maes had attempted to contact their office at least three times before Tuesday.

Hamer’s defense attorney, Jacob Birkholz, objected to continuing the trial at a later date.

Judge Dietrich said she would grant a continuance for the trial, but only if there was a reason to. If the BCA submits its report by noon Friday, the trial will go on as planned next week, she said. If not, Dietrich said she would continue the trial until Jan. 3, which would be within 60 days of the original trial date.

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