The Nebraska Supreme Court has ordered a new drug trial for a Grand Island man, saying prosecutors failed to prove the accuracy of a state lab scale.
Bryan Van Richardson Jr. was convicted in 2011 of dealing between 10 and 27 grams of cocaine and sentenced to up to six years. Had the amount been less than 10 grams, he would have faced a less severe felony and sentence.
At issue was testimony from a state lab worker who said she weighed the cocaine Van Richardson sold at 10.25 grams. The worker testified that the scale's calibration is routinely checked.
The Nebraska Supreme Court said Friday that because Van Richardson's conviction and sentence hung on .25 grams of cocaine, details proving the accuracy of the scale should have been presented.