How many chances does Hardison get before the courts realize the obvious, he an attorney and incaple of rehabilitation.
A former Beckley attorney convicted of a host of criminal charges was granted post-conviction bond Wednesday in Raleigh County Circuit Court.
Richard Hardison Jr., 47, previously pleaded to delivery of cocaine and conspiracy to commit a felony, as well as three counts of embezzlement and attempt to commit a felony (uttering).
The first two charges stemmed from an April 6, 2012, incident in which an individual cooperating with the Beckley Police Department purchased cocaine from Hardison. The latter charges encompassed embezzlement totaling $188,500 from November 2013 through October 2015.
His sentence hearing has been rescheduled multiple times, most recently in April after Judge Robert A. Burnside Jr. granted a motion for a diagnostic study to be conducted to determine the impact his substance use had on his criminal activity.
Hardison, by way of defense attorney Brandon Gray, requested post-conviction bond, including a 28-day rehabilitation program, home incarceration with electronic monitoring and out-patient rehabilitation.
Raleigh County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brandon Steele said the state strongly opposed the motion, citing Hardison's prior criminal history, his failure to acknowledge his crimes, and his past violation of post-conviction bond.
Further, Steele argued Hardison is a flight risk because of the substantial monetary penalties he owes the state and federal government, as well as restitution to his former clients.
Judge Burnside reviewed the previously requested psychological evaluation. The report indicated Hardison was a low- to moderate-risk for recidivism.
Burnside granted the defense motion, allowing Hardison's $75,000 bond with home confinement and electronic monitoring to be reinstated. Also as part of his bond, Hardison will seek treatment at a drug rehabilitation center at Thomas Memorial Hospital.
Hardison's sentencing date is now scheduled for Dec. 14.
Source: The Register-Herald