LIMA — A man who told Judge Jeffrey Reed he has been homeless for the better part of four years while battling an addiction to methamphetamines was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison on a variety of charges.
James Hedrick, 32, of Lima, pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony count of aggravated possession of drugs after he was found to be in possession of 22 grams of meth in October of last year. As part of a deal with prosecutors that was spread out over three separate cases, Hedrick agreed to forfeit $441 in drug proceeds to the West Center Ohio Crime Task Force.
In a separate case in which Hedrick stole a pickup truck and led police on a high-speed chase down Interstate 75 in April of this year, prosecutors dismissed a third-degree felony charge of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer in exchange for guilty pleas to fourth-degree felony counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle and another failure to comply charge.
That chase ended when Hedrick crashed in Botkins. Just nine days earlier he had pleaded guilty to a separate charge of theft of a motor vehicle in Allen County. He was scheduled to stand trial next week on the other charges.
Hedrick was remorseful as he addressed the judge prior to sentencing.
“Your honor, I know I deserve whatever sentence I get today. I just thank God that no one was hurt” during the high-speed chase. “I exercised extremely poor judgment that day.”
He asked the court “to show me any mercy it can and give me time to distance myself from the lifestyle I put myself in.”
Reed sentenced Hedrick to a minimum of four years in prison on the drug possession charge and to a pair of 12-month sentences on the fourth-degree felonies. The latter sentences were ordered to be served concurrent with each other but consecutive to the four years on the drug count.
Hedrick was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,000 to a body shop from which the vehicle was stolen. His driver’s license was suspended for three years.