Richards has drug charges stayed (Updated with statement)

AP
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From CBC News:

The drug charges that have shadowed NHLer Mike Richards since June 2015 have been stayed.

The judge stayed the proceedings on Wednesday in a Manitoba court, which means the prosecution has been discontinued. Unlike charges that have been withdrawn completely, stayed charges can be brought back within one year, though that tends to be rare.

Court documents listed the controlled substance as oxycodone.

Richards, 31, signed with the Washington Capitals last month. On Monday, he scored his first goal for his new team while logging 15:58 of ice time in a 3-2 win over Arizona.

Update:

Via CSN Mid-Atlantic, following is a statement from Richards’ attorney, David Humphrey, and agent, Pat Morris:

“Mike Richards was charged with a single count of simple possession of a controlled substance. As the Crown had elected to proceed summarily, this was the Canadian equivalent of a misdemeanor.

“Mr. Richards always maintained that he would plead not guilty and would defend the case vigorously. After the Crown brief was disclosed to the defence, Mr. Richards’ counsel advised the Crown of fatal defects in the prosecution case. The Crown and defense agreed that follow-up investigation was warranted. That investigation has been completed and the Crown decided to stay the charge, thereby ending prosecution.

“Mr. Richards is gratified that the Crown fairly reviewed the case and reasonably recognized that prosecution was not warranted.

“Mr. Richards wishes to extend his heartfelt appreciation to his loyal fans and especially to his parents, brothers, extended family and friends for their love and support.

“Mr. Richards is now entirely focused on his hockey career and he and his legal counsel will not be commenting further on the successful resolution of this charge.”

Related: Caps confident that Richards’ legal issues ‘will work out in his favor’