A federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., Tuesday dismissed a drug case against Guy Neighbors, a former owner of the Yellow House Store in Lawrence, but the judge declined to dismiss two other cases Neighbors faces.
U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia granted a request from Neighbors’ defense attorney Gary Hart to dismiss the 2007 drug case with prejudice — meaning it can’t be re-filed — and ruled the government violated the defendant’s right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment and violations of the Speedy Trial Act. Prosecutors had accused Neighbors of cultivating marijuana at his west Lawrence home after Lawrence police discovered a plant while searching the home as part of a stolen goods investigation.
Murguia denied the same speedy trial motion in two other cases Neighbors faces in which he’s accused of conspiring to sell stolen goods on the Internet from the former store, 1904 Mass., and a separate obstruction case.
Murguia in September ordered Neighbors, 53, to be released from custody after the judge declared him mentally competent to stand trial. Murguia in 2009 had found Neighbors incompetent to assist in his defense, which created a major delay in the case. In January his wife Carrie Neighbors, 50, was sentenced to serve eight years in prison after a jury convicted her in the stolen goods case.
Guy Neighbors is next due in court on Dec. 6.