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Prosecutor moves to delay case against suicidal veteran

Federal authorities may have a reached an understanding about how to resolve the case of a Navy veteran facing four firearms charges after calling for help on a suicide prevention line.

The U.S. Attorney’s office has moved to postpone the trial of Sean Duvall for six months, indicating the delay has the agreement of Duvall’s attorney. A hearing is scheduled today (Monday).

Duvall’s case raised concerns over the government’s decision to prosecute. Duvall had crafted a homemade shotgun intending to take his life. After he called a government-promoted crisis line and got help in June, he was charged with four felony counts for his “destructive device.” He had turned the “zip gun” over to a Virginia Tech police officer when he was taken into custody for evaluation.


Duvall reached a deal with federal prosecutors that will allow him to enter a six-month diversion program with the hope of having all charges dismissed. Duvall will be the first felony case referred to the new Veteran’s Treatment Court in Roanoke, a program that offers judge-supervised treatment.

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