Ervin Hardin Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Attempted Power Line Theft
On February 23, 2012, Ervin Hardin received a twenty year prison sentence as a result of his botched attempt to steal an AEP electric line on Bull Mountain. During the sentencing hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington pointed out that Hardin was on probation for grand larceny out of Tazewell County, Virginia when he climbed the power pole and attempted to steal the copper cable. Arrington then reminded the Court that while out on bond, Hardin broke into a Hurley business in another attempt to commit larceny and argued that Hardin’s repetitive violations “were offensive to the Commonwealth and to the people of Buchanan County.”
During the hearing, Hardin’s defense attorneys pointed out that he had lost an arm and had to be rescued during the botched power line theft, and argued that Hardin had suffered a punishment far greater than what the justice system could impose. Hardin and his attorneys would later make a plea for leniency, noting the severe injuries that he had received. Arrington responded that while the Commonwealth had compassion for Hardin’s serious injuries and argued that “if losing a limb didn’t teach him a lesson, perhaps a lengthy prison sentence would.”
The Commonwealth concluded the hearing by requesting a twenty year prison sentence, with at least five of those years being an active penitentiary sentence. Ultimately the Court imposed a sentence of nineteen years and twelve months with two years and six months of that sentence being active, which was at the higher end of the sentencing guidelines. As a condition of this suspended sentence, Hardin is ordered to complete ten years of probation and pay any outstanding restitution owed to his victims.
When asked about the case, Arrington responded that “the people of Buchanan County are sick and tired of the thievery and stealing that is occurring in our County, and this case is an example of the tough stance that my office is taking against serious offenders.”