Denny Hecker's drug problem won't help his prison problem, says law expert

Hecker fesses up to drug use.

Hecker fesses up to drug use.

Denny Hecker's sentencing is just around the corner, and the fallen auto king is making an 11th-hour plea for a little mercy.

Hecker's lawyers filed a motion yesterday asking a judge to shave two years off the recommended sentence of a decade in prison. Hecker fesses up to making some bad decisions over the years, including a history of drug abuse, which his lawyers say "played a role in his offenses."

But the last-minute revelation probably won't have much effect on the judge, predicts Joseph Daily, a criminal law professor at Hamline University.

[jump] "In my judgement, he's going to get a 10-year sentence," says Daily. "I don't think Judge [Joan] Erickson will lower it one bit."

The request could influence what prison Hecker goes to, says Daily. If Erickson buys the drug abuse story, she might recommend Hecker serve his time in a facility equipped to handle his treatment.

Hecker is also asking for a few weeks at home before he goes to prison, in order to say his farewells to friends and family.

He probably won't have much luck with this one either, says Daily, adding that Hecker's last-minute plea for mercy isn't unusual.

"I'm not surprised, I don't view it as a cynical revelation," he says. "I simply view it as his attempt to get some kind of leniency, but I dont think it's going to work."

Daily says Hecker's story will probably fall flat with the judge.

Daily says Hecker's story will probably fall flat with the judge.

"It wouldn't influence me if I was a judge."

Hecker is due in court February 11 for sentencing.

Previous Coverage

  • Denny Hecker's watches fetch $294,500 at auction
  • Denny Hecker and Christi Rowan's supposed wedding crashed by U.S. Marshals
  • Denny Hecker pleads guilty
  • Denny Hecker accused of concealing $150,000