Fresh off a conviction last month for possession of methamphetamine and a sentence of zero to five years in a Utah state prison, Moab resident Ed Day had another day in court Tuesday, Jan. 9 where he was assigned new counsel to represent him on even newer meth-related charges.
The request from Day to have attorney Steven Russell replaced was granted by Seventh District Court Judge Lyle Anderson after an in camera, or private conversation, between the two. Day claimed there was an irreparable “conflict” between him and Russell — and Anderson agreed — appointing Happy Morgan as Day’s new attorney.
The new case follows a Dec. 7, 2017 rollover accident on Kane Springs Road where officers discovered 34 grams of methamphetamine and a measurable amount of marijuana. As a result of the charges, which include first-degree felony possession of drugs with intent to distribute and a second-degree felony charge of possession of drugs with intent to distribute, Day could face up to 15 years in prison.
If Day is convicted in the new case, Grand County Attorney Andrew Fitzgerald told The Times-Independent he intends to ask Anderson to run any sentence concurrent to what he is serving in the previous case.
Day pleaded guilty in October to a third-degree felony count of possession or use of a controlled substance. Day was originally charged with a first-degree felony charge of possession, as well as a third-degree felony charge of tampering with evidence, a misdemeanor charge of possession or use of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor charge of use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officers discovered six grams of crystal methamphetamine during the March stop, nearly $1,000 in cash, a scale, marijuana and several butane lighters during their search of Day and the vehicle. He is alleged by Moab Police Department to have been the driver in the rollover accident that sent both him and a passenger, Carrol J. Brown, to Moab Regional Hospital with significant injuries. While responding to the crash, officers from Moab and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) searched the vehicle and discovered the methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
On the request of Fitzgerald, Day was ordered transferred to prison while awaiting future court dates in Moab. Day’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 6.