Filing delay annoys judge, defense attorney
Both Judge Todd Cresap and defense attorney Ashley Gulke expressed irritation on Monday that the Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office waited over a year to file two Class B felony delivery of methamphetamine charges against a defendant.
“Justice delayed is not justice,” said Cresap, who said it serves neither the defendant nor the victims when the prosecution decides to sit so long on charges.
One of the charges against Tanya Lee Jennifer Burgard, 47, Minot, dates back to March 6, 2020, and the other dates back to Jan. 25, 2021.
Burgard had been in custody on other occasions over the last year and her whereabouts are known. Gulke told the judge that Burgard is sober and has been doing extremely well over the past several months and all of her other cases had been resolved before these old charges were filed. Burgard told the judge she plans to start a new job. Gulke told the judge that filing charges so late after the incident allegedly occurred just serves to “torpedo” her clients who are doing well.
The prosecution has up to three years to file most felony charges in North Dakota under state law.
Ward County State’s Attorney Roza Larson, who was contacted by the Minot Daily News for comment after the Monday hearing, said she will look into the matter to find out the reason for the delay in filing the charges against Burgard.
In general, Larson said in an email on Tuesday, “I do know that charges involving controlled buys of illegal drugs are often delayed due to the (Ward County Narcotics) task force using a confidential informant for a period of time. They don’t bring the cases over to us for charging until they are done using that particular confidential informant. There may have been other delays, which I’m looking into and will address as necessary with the staff involved.”
According to a probable cause affidavit in the case, Burgard is accused of selling the drugs to a confidential informant working for the Ward County Narcotics Task Force.
The prosecution had asked for bond to be set at $2,500, with a requirement that Burgard post 10% of that.
Cresap followed Gulke’s recommendation and gave Burgard an unsecured bond, meaning that she didn’t have to post any money to bond out. She will only owe money if she fails to make a court date. Gulke said Burgard has attended all of her previous court appearances.
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 21 before Cresap.