Court drops charges against Belfield man in alleged meth caseA judge dismissed charges against a Belfield man which defending attorney Mary Nordsven called a “long, long stretch,” during a preliminary hearing at the Stark County Courthouse Monday afternoon.
A judge dismissed charges against a Belfield man which defending attorney Mary Nordsven called a “long, long stretch,” during a preliminary hearing at the Stark County Courthouse Monday afternoon.
Donald Beckman faced two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts for allegedly intending to deliver 43 grams of meth, possessing marijuana and possessing two types of drug paraphernalia, according to his criminal complaint.
Southwest Narcotics Task Force agents testified to finding all of the evidence in Mary Beth Freed’s apartment. Freed also faces charges.
Several baggies of meth were found in Freed’s purse, agents said.
“Would it be safe to say that this purse contained a real mother load of information?” Stark County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Hope asked Agent Mike Willems, who agreed.
Freed identified Beckman as her boyfriend and allegedly called to him while her apartment was being raided, but Beckman wasn’t in the apartment, agents said.
“Nobody saw Mr. Beckman that day,” said SWNTF Special Agent Tara Haugen.
The only thing in the apartment tying Beckman to the drugs was a checkbook in Freed’s purse which contained a check that was blank except for what appeared to be Beckman’s signature, she added.
“I would suggest to the court that this is the thinnest of the thin probable cause (evidence) I’ve ever seen,” Nordsven said. “Surely, your honor, the state has failed miserably.”
Hope argued there was enough evidence presented to establish probable cause to move forward with the case.
“I just don’t find that there is enough probable cause to suggest that this can be bound over,” Judge William Herauf said.
He dismissed all four charges against Beckman.
Nordsven declined comment after the hearing.