HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico man was sentenced to nine years in prison today on a total of six counts, ten months after police raided his “fortified drug house” in the West End.
Michael Hardy, 53, faced a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, but could have been sentenced to as much as 100 years in prison on counts of possessing explosive devices, distributing drugs and setting a booby trap.
In an emotional letter to the judge, which he read through tears, Hardy said he recognized the mistakes he made, which he believed stemmed from unaddressed PTSD following his deployments during the Gulf and Iraq Wars, but that he could still make something of his life if he was given the minimum sentence of 5 years.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Ackley, meanwhile, highlighted testimony from Hardy’s girlfriend — 30 years his junior — that he was violent and controlling, corroborated by photos of a black eye he had given her and texts in which he threatened to “blow up” if she didn’t deal drugs on his behalf.
While the prosecution requested a sentence of more than 10 years in prison for Hardy, and the defense asked for just five, the judge ultimately imposed a combined sentence of nine years.