Men accused of meth distribution heading to trial in March

The trial of two men accused of distributing meth in Juneau will take place this coming March.

Charles Edward Cotten Jr. and his son Ricky Stapler Lisk were arrested in October and accused of distributing methamphetamine in Juneau.

At a status hearing Tuesday, Chief District Judge Timothy M. Burgess set the trial date for March 5, 2018, saying that the attorneys for Cotten and Lisk will have to file a status report by Feb. 5 indicating whether they anticipate a trial or choose to pursue some sort of resolution.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt estimated that the trial will last about three days.

According to an indictment filed by a grand jury in October, Cotten, 52, distributed meth on four occasions between May 12 and June 7 of this year. Lisk was accused of distributing alongside Cotten on one of those occasions, June 2. His 1995 black Harley Davidson motorcycle and his boat, the M/V Northwind, were also seized.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Cotten and Lisk were present while their attorneys — Michael Moberly and David Nesbett, respectively — were present over the phone. Both Moberly and Nesbett said they haven’t been able to talk with their clients as much as they’ve wanted, and need more time to go over discovery and evidence with Cotten and Lisk.

Cotten and Lisk agreed, saying they would like as much time as possible to speak with their attorneys prior to the March 5 start date. The status hearing was originally supposed to be held Monday, but there were difficulties in connecting with Moberly over the phone.

Cotten and Lisk requested that in the case of future status hearings, that they not be taken out of their cells at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

“It was just because nothing’s going on that’s pertinent to the trial anyway,” Cotten said, “and we can’t say anything to (our attorneys) anyway because we’re in an open courtroom.”

Cotten, a former convict and drug addict, was the manager of the Bergmann Hotel starting in the fall of 2016 before the building was shut down in March 2017 as the city deemed it unsafe due to fire and safety hazards. Cotten was arrested for unlawful continuance of a fire hazard, and ended up paying a $310 fine according to online court records.

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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