Man gets 20 years in case of witness retaliation
Port Arthur resident Theodore Hardie, 31, has been sentenced to a term of 20 years in the state penitentiary and fined $10,000.00 in connection with a 2012 case where the defendant and his brother plotted to retaliate against the wife of a witness slated to testify in a Hardin County home invasion aggravated robbery announced Criminal District Attorney Cory Crenshaw. Hardie was convicted after a jury trial in the Criminal District Court (Judge John Stevens presiding)
Investigators had been monitoring the jail visits at the Jefferson County jail between Hardie and his brother Elton Mims, and a recording from a visit on October 8, 2012, revealed Hardie and Mims planning the retaliation. They were heard on the recording planning an assault on or the murder of the witnesses’ wife, who lived in Jefferson County. A Jefferson County grand jury originally indicted Hardie and Mims December 6, 2012. A separate grand jury handed up a superseding indictment on Hardie on February 6, 2014. The plotters were also heard discussing other possible crimes in Hardin and Harris counties, which information has been made available to investigators in those locations.
The trial in the Criminal District Court (John Stevens presiding) was heard by a jury over the course of 3 days, handing up their guilty verdict on Thursday morning and their punishment verdict late Thursday afternoon. The sentence handed down was the maximum possible punishment for the charge of retaliation.
Prosecutors Bobby Ortego and Clint Woods presented the case for Jefferson County, working from an investigative file put together by the Port Arthur Police Department. Ortego said, “He deserved the maximum he got. This jury sent a strong message that we do not tolerate criminals trying to harm or intimidate witnesses.” Hardie has previous felony convictions for Possession of Cocaine in 2005, which evidence was also presented to the jury in the punishment phase of the trial. Mims is still in custody awaiting trial on his pending charges.