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Whoever happens to stop by this blog may wonder why I started it. Whenever I read news stories online I always like to put a face to the story. So I got to thinking maybe other people would as well. I always keep up on WV news and most stories don't have the mugshots with them so I hunt them up online and post them with the story. It's not that hard and I don't know why the state news sites don't do it

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hedrick sentenced on sexual abuse

KEYSER, W.Va. - A co-owner of the Smoke Hole Resort near Petersburg was sentenced to two to 10 years in prison and fined $20,000 on Oct. 21 in Mineral County Circuit Court by Judge Phil Jordan.

Jerry Lee Hedrick, 60, was sentenced on two felony charges of first-degree sexual abuse after being convicted of the offenses in a jury trial in Mineral County Circuit Court last May.

Jordan sentenced Hedrick to one to five years on each count with the sentences to be served consecutively. In addition, the judge ordered Hedrick to be registered under strict supervision as a sex offender for the next 25 years.

The victim, a single mother in her 20s, had been employed as a housekeeper at the resort when she was sexually assaulted by Hedrick. The incident occurred in July 2007 when the victim had been employed there for less than a week. Hedrick reportedly tried to force himself on her, grabbing her breast and buttocks in the process. The victim left the hotel and never returned.

Hedrick was indicted by a Grant County grand jury on July 8, 2008.

The case was prosecuted by Grant County Prosecuting Attorney Dennis DiBennedeto and eventually moved to Mineral County after the court granted a change of venue request. Hedrick was represented by Elkins attorney Stephen Jory.

According to court documents, the probation officer who conducted the pre-sentencing investigation recommended the maximum sentence.

At the conclusion of the hour-long hearing, Jordan said, "Mr. Hedrick, you may be a millionaire, but you are morally bankrupt." Hedrick was then taken into custody by the court for transport to the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail to await transfer to a state penitentiary to begin serving his sentence.


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