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CONTACT:Stephen Tyler

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Allen Lee Hardaway, a 38 year old man from Yoakum, was sentenced to Life in prison after being convicted of the offense of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.  Earlier today, a Victoria County jury returned a verdict of guilty for the third degree felony, an offense that normally allows for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.  However, evidence presented at punishment that the defendant had at least two prior felony convictions allowed the jury to find that the defendant 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, Officer Eric Poulton stopped the defendant's vehicle after a citizen had called 911 complaining that the defendant and another person were involved in a disturbance at the caller's house.  Several other VPD officers responded to the stop to assist Officer Poulton, including Officers Joseph Felan, David Brogger, and Branden Allen.  The defendant initially gave officers a fake name, but the officers were able to determine the defendant's true identity.  Their investigation revealed the defendant had a felony warrant out of Yoakum. During the investigation, the officers recovered a pill bottle containing over two grams of crack cocaine.

During the punishment phase of trial, the State introduced evidence that the defendant had been convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance on four other occasions and also convicted for felony assault of a public servant.  The jury also heard that the defendant had committed three of his five felony offenses while on probation or parole.

"The jury was asked to set a standard for how habitual drug offenders will be treated by juries in this community, and I believe their verdict speaks for itself," said Arnold Hayden, Assistant District Attorney for Victoria County, Texas.