BECKLEY – A circuit judge has granted a motion for Richard Hardison to undergo a diagnostic study to determine the impact his substance abuse has had on his criminal activity.
Hardison was scheduled to undergo sentencing Friday morning. He previously pleaded guilty to delivery of cocaine and conspiracy to commit a felony, as well as three counts of embezzlement and attempt to commit a felony.
Raleigh County Circuit Court Judge Robert A. Burnside Jr. granted the motion.
In 2012, Hardison sold cocaine to a person cooperating with the Beckley Police Department. Two of Hardison’s charges stem from that incident, while the last three stem from his embezzlement of $188,500 total over a nearly two-year period.
Brandon Gray, a defense attorney, said Hardison’s addiction led to his criminal activity and that the diagnostic study is necessary to aid the court in determining his sentence.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brandon Steele said Hardison’s prior DUI record is indicative of long-term substance abuse.