ANDERSON — An Alexandria man in prison for methamphetamine-related charges had his 20-year sentence upheld on Thursday.
David L. Hedgecraft Sr., 47, had appealed his sentence for convictions of dealing meth and maintaining a common nuisance. The sentence was affirmed by Appellate Judge Patricia Riley.
On Feb. 14, 2013, Hedgecraft became the third member of his family to be imprisoned for meth charges. His sons, David L. Hedgecraft Jr., 24, and William Hedgecraft, 28, are currently serving sentences.
On the day of David Hedgecraft's arrest on April 17, 2012, police received a tip that the Hedgecrafts were cooking meth in their garage in the 200 block of East County Road 1100 North, Alexandria.
Drug Task Force officers allegedly found plastic bottles containing meth sludge, and cans of fuel, ammonium and stripped batteries, according to a probable cause affidavit. All are common ingredients in homemade meth cooking.
One of the defense arguments made by Hedgecraft Sr.’s attorney, Scott Webb, throughout the two-day trial in Madison County was that no actual methamphetamine was found at the scene by police.
During closing arguments, deputy prosecutor Steve Koester told the jury there wasn’t any meth because it had already been consumed.
Hedgecraft Jr., who goes by the name Lee, testified against his father in the 2013 trial. Wearing prison clothes and restrained with handcuffs, Hedgecraft Jr. described how his father and older brother taught him to cook meth.
Hedgecraft Sr.'s appeal complained that there wasn't sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction, that the trial court improperly sentenced him and that the jury reached an inconsistent verdict. In her decision, Riley concluded that Hedgecraft had a clear connection to the evidence found in the garage.
"When officers entered Hedgecraft's garage, they were met with a strong odor, a smell obvious to them that the garage had been used as a meth lab. Moreover, when the officers searched the garage, they found items commonly used in the production of meth in plain view," Riley wrote.
She also affirmed that the man's sentence was proper, considering his criminal history. She wrote that Hedgecraft's record included several misdemeanor drug convictions and an admission by Hedgecraft that he was an addict.
Indiana inmate records show Hedgecraft is in Miami Correctional Facility and has a projected release date of 2023.
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