Elkins man sentenced on drug-related charges

An Elkins man who pleaded guilty to forgery and drug-related charges earlier this year was sentenced Tuesday in Randolph County Circuit Court.

Ellis Randall Hedrick, 26, was sentenced to 2-10 years in a state penitentiary for operating or attempting to operate a clandestine drug laboratory.

Hedrick also faces one count of forgery, a felony, for which he pleaded guilty and could have received a penalty of 1-10 years in a state penitentiary. The court agreed to drop the forgery count on the condition that Hedrick serve his sentence for the drug activity and remain in contact with a parole officer. Hedrick was sentenced by Judge Jaymie Godwin Wilfong.

Hedrick told the court he had been struggling with addiction, which was the root cause of his criminal activity. He also said he wasn’t aware of how dangerous the chemicals that he was using in the lab were to the public health.

Hedrick and his wife, Melissa Dawn, were arrested Jan. 14 when officers with the Elkins Police Department were dispatched to an apartment at 17 Davis Ave. to investigate an ammonia-like odor.

Also in Circuit Court Tuesday:

– Sheila Diane Maxey, 46, of Sutton pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of funds for personal use, one count of falsifying documents or accounts and one count of forgery, all felonies.

Maxey, a former Youth Health Service worker, claimed she used the company’s funds to purchase personal items, as well as doctoring financial documents to cover her tracks.

Following her plea, when asked by the court why she had used the company’s funds for personal use, she stated she was trying to pay for medical and funeral costs for her mother. When asked, Maxey stated that some of the items she had purchased with the illicit funds were food, books, household items and a tent.

“How is a tent related to costs to care for your mother?” Wilfong asked regarding her response.

Maxey claimed that her actions were “a cry for help” and that she regretted the things she had done.

Maxey could be facing a maximum of 1-10 years in a state penitentiary plus a $2,500 fine for the embezzlement count, 1-10 years in a state penitentiary plus a $500 fine for the forgery count and 1-10 years for the falsifying documents count.

Maxey was taken into the custody of the Randolph County Sherriff’s Office. Her sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 1:15 p.m.

Contact Chad by e-mail at cclem@theintermountain.com.