Charges dropped in meth case

Prosecutors Tuesday dropped felony theft and forgery charges against a Craig man arrested in December's methamphetamine sweep.

Troy Neal, 35, appeared in 14th Judicial District Court on Tuesday for a plea hearing that lawyers in the case said could resolve the meth, theft and forgery charges against Neal.

But by the end of Tuesday's hearing, no deal was reached.

Prosecutors dropped the forgery and theft charges against Neal so the case didn't have to go to trial. The trial for the forgery and theft charges was scheduled for next week.

Prosecutors and Neal's lawyer could have a deal worked out in Neal's meth case as early as next week, they said.

If no deal is worked out in the meth case, it is set for trial in July.

Deputy District Attorney Andy Heyl said that with any deal in Neal's meth case, prosecutors would try to address restitution in the theft and forgery cases, even though the cases have been dismissed.

Neal and his lawyer, Erick Nordstrom of Steamboat Springs, were ready to accept an agreement Tuesday that would have solved all three cases. In that agreement, Neal would have pleaded guilty to felony meth possession, in exchange for prosecutors dropping theft, forgery and meth distribution charges against Neal.

Sentencing terms would have been left up to a judge, and Neal could have served up to six years in prison.

But in light of evidence that could help Neal's case, which Heyl said prosecutors heard could exist, Neal did not accept the deal.

Heyl said he will subpoena a witness this week and try to have the recently discovered evidence before Neal's next hearing, which is scheduled for next week.

Chief Judge Michael O'Hara also declined to lower Neal's $50,000 bail.

O'Hara said he would address bail at next week's hearing.

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