Case of Priest Facing Drug Charges Continued

By Mary Schenk
The News-Gazette
October 21, 2008

URBANA It will be at least early next year before there's any resolution of the case of a Catholic priest from Champaign accused of using and dealing cocaine.

The Rev. Christopher Layden, 33, formerly a resident of the Newman Center on the University of Illinois campus, made his first court appearance Tuesday morning since being charged in Champaign County Circuit Court on Sept. 11 with delivery of cocaine and possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

Layden was suspended from his priestly duties after being charged with the felony offenses accusing him of using cocaine in his residence and selling it to an informant from there in September.

Layden, who has been free on bond since Sept. 11, appeared in a business suit and sunglasses at the courthouse. Appearing for his attorney Mark Lipton was another attorney in his firm, Tom Lockman.

Lockman told Judge Harry Clem that Lipton and Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton had agreed that the case would not be ready for trial in November and continued it to Clem's next pretrial call of Nov. 25.

Lipton said it's unlikely the case would be ready in December either.


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