Delays hearing for defendants to enter pleas
Delaine and Malisa Fitzpatrick of Havre will have to wait to enter their pleas on charges of violating state medical marijuana laws. A new judge is being sought to preside over their cases.
The sisters were scheduled to enter their pleas in state District Court Thursday with Judge Laurie McKinnon presiding, but the hearing was continued after their attorneys requested a change of judge.
Jeremy Yellin, Delaine Fitzpatrick’s lawyer, and Marta Farmer, Malisa Fitzpatrick’s lawyer, requested the change two days before the scheduled arraingment. No new judge had accepted jurisdiction as of this morning, and no new hearing date has been scheduled.
McKinnon took jurisdiction after Yellin and Farmer requested the judge be changed from District Judge Dave Rice of Havre.
Farmer said this morning that she and Yellin declined to comment at this time on the request for a new judge.
Delaine and Malisa Fitzpatrick were charged with multiple felony counts Sept. 28 after McKinnon accepted jurisdiction in the case and granted leave for the state to file the charges. The state filed the request to file charges following an undercover investigation from which the two are accused of selling marijuana to a man not registered as their patient, selling more marijuana to him than is legally allowed, and possessing more marijuana than they are allowed by law.
Delaine Fitzpatrick, an employee of the Child and Family Services Division of the state Department of Public Health and Human Services, and Malisa Fitzpatrick, a state Juvenile Probation and Parole officer, are licensed with the state as medical marijuana caregivers.