NORWICH – A man arrested for one of New York’s top drug felonies, facing life in prison if convicted, appeared in Norwich City Court last week for a hearing at which prosecutors had to show reasonable cause to justify the high-level charge.
Christopher S. Purdy, 40, 28 Fair St. Apt. 201, Norwich, was charged with first degree criminal possession of a controlled substance Nov. 20, a class A-1 felony, after police allegedly discovered more than $25,000 worth of cocaine hidden in the framework of a car he was driving.
At a felony hearing, the prosecution must show that police had reasonable cause to charge a person with a felony level crime and that there was at least some evidence or testimony to support the accusation. The judge then can decide to either pass the case to the Chenango County grand jury or dismiss the felony charge in question.
Norwich City Court Judge James Downey began the hearing by telling Purdy’s attorney, Peter McBride of Norwich, that due to the severity of the charge, New York State law forbids the municipality court from setting bail. He said bail would have to be set by the Chenango County Court or a higher judicial authority.