Judge to Consider Allowing Suspect From White River Junction to Go to Rehab

Published: 4/6/2018 12:03:03 AM
Modified: 4/6/2018 9:32:17 AM

Burlington — A federal judge has approved reopening a detention hearing and discussing a motion to release a 38-year-old White River Junction man from custody so he can attend a drug rehabilitation facility in the Upper Valley.

Richard Whitcomb, whom prosecutors have identified as a suspect in the January disappearance of a Royalton man, will appear in U.S. District Court in Burlington on April 19 for the hearing.

Whitcomb, through his attorney, Bradley Stetler, last month sought a reconsideration of his detention so he could attend residential treatment at Valley Vista in Bradford, Vt., according to court documents.

A judge on Feb. 15 ordered Whitcomb detained pending the outcome of his federal firearms case, saying Whitcomb was a danger to the community. Whitcomb has been charged with unlawful possession of a .32-caliber pistol as a convicted felon, and with carrying and using that pistol during the distribution of cocaine in January.

Court documents indicate Whitcomb allegedly used the gun as collateral in a cocaine deal with Austin Colson, a 19-year-old Royalton man who went missing on Jan. 11. Police found the firearm at Whitcomb’s home. Authorities are still searching for Colson, whose 20th birthday was on Feb. 13.

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