BURLINGTON — A Rutland City man, who is facing state and federal criminal charges in connection with the fatal shooting of a friend at a Rutland motel, will be provided a court hearing on claims that he has tested positive for three drugs while on pre-trial release.
Kahliq Richardson, 18, appeared in U.S. District Court in Burlington for a brief hearing on Monday afternoon.
Defense lawyer Mark A. Kaplan of Burlington said his client denied the use of any drugs while free in the high-profile case.
Kaplan suggested to Senior Judge William K. Sessions he continue the hearing for a month or so to see what subsequent lab results show.
Court records show Richardson had positive tests for codeine on Oct. 12, THC in a sweat patch during the week of Oct. 21-27, and fentanyl during a urine test on Nov. 8.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller asked for an evidentiary hearing. She said Richardson should be jailed until the judge has a chance to hear the evidence. Fuller noted Richardson had been out about a month when the U.S. Probation Office received evidence of a positive test.
She argued the evidence of the THC appeared strong. The veteran prosecutor said she had not seen any evidence of a patch being manipulated during her career.
Kaplan said the defense asked for the patch after what he believed was a false positive showing Richardson had codeine in his system Oct. 12. Kaplan said he believes the positive result was due to a new medication a doctor had prescribed and provided an untrue finding.
Fuller said she would need time to line up witnesses, including people from the drug lab to validate the positive findings. No hearing date was set in court.
Sessions agreed to allow Richardson to remain free for the time being, but said he wants the defendant to have at least weekly drug tests going forward.
Richardson has pleaded not guilty in state court in Rutland to a charge of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Jonah Pandiani, 19, at the Quality Inn on South Main Street in Rutland on April 3. Police said Richardson reported he had been using crack cocaine just before the shooting.
Richardson also has denied in federal court in Burlington a felony charge of illegal possession of a firearm by a known drug user during the incident.
When a state judge released Richardson on conditions on April 5, federal authorities arrested him on the gun charge a few hours later. Federal Magistrate Judge Kevin Doyle ordered him detained as a danger to the community, but after an appeal to Sessions, Richardson was released with strict conditions in September.