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Yoakum man sentenced to life in prison on drug charge

By BY GHENI PLATENBURG - GPLATENBURG@VICAD.COM
Sept. 14, 2011 at 4:14 a.m.


A Yoakum man was sentenced to life in prison for unlawful possession of a controlled substance on Wednesday.

A jury returned a guilty verdict and sentenced Allen Lee Hardaway, 38, for the third degree felony crime.

The offense normally allows for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but evidence showed Hardaway had five previous felony convictions. This allowed the jury to find that he was a habitual offender and assess punishment with an enhanced range of 25 years to 99 years or life in prison.

On June 28, 2010, Victoria police officer Eric Poulton stopped the defendant's vehicle after a person called 911 complaining that Hardaway and another person were involved in a disturbance at the caller's house, according to a Victoria County District Attorney's Office news release.

He initially gave a fake name, but the officers were able to determine the defendant's true identity after investigation revealed he was wanted on an outstanding felony warrant in Yoakum, according to the news release.

During the investigation, officers recovered a pill bottle containing more than 2 grams of crack cocaine.

Four of his previous convictions were for possession of a controlled substance. The other was for felony assault of a public servant.

Assistant district attorney Arnold Hayden prosecuted the case.

Hardaway was represented by attorney James R. Beeler.

District Judge Robert Cheshire presided over the trial.

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