Deal lets troubled veteran avoid trial
Deal lets troubled veteran avoid trial - Roanoke.com
Sean Duvall, who was charged after calling a help line, will be allowed to enroll in Veterans Treatment Court.
By Laurence Hammack
An agreement has been reached that could end the prosecution of Sean Duvall, a depressed and suicidal veteran whose call for help was answered with a federal indictment.
Duvall, who was charged with possessing a homemade gun on the Virginia Tech campus after calling a confidential help line the night he nearly killed himself, will be allowed to enroll in a treatment program for veterans.
The agreement, detailed Monday in federal court in Roanoke, comes after advocates for veterans and the mentally ill decried the decision by prosecutors to charge a man who reached out for help.
At the request of attorneys on both sides, U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Wilson granted a motion to delay the case for six months, giving Duvall the opportunity to enroll in Veterans Treatment Court.
If Duvall successfully completes the program, which offers close supervision to veterans struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, the charges against him will be dismissed.