MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A gaunt-looking Denny Hecker will be staying in jail for the time being after a hearing held Tuesday.
Hecker was in court Tuesday as his attorney pleaded for him to be released until his sentencing on federal fraud charges. He filed a motion late last week asking to be released.
Hecker appeared in court wearing an orange jail sweatshirt and pants.
Hecker has been jailed since late October. His weight loss in the 79 days he has been in jail has been dramatic.
Hecker’s attorney Bill Mauzy asked that Hecker be put under house arrest until his sentencing, which will likely come at the end of January.
Prosecutors said they wanted the one-time auto mogul to stay in jail because he is a flight risk and “an economic threat to the community.” They told the judge they believe Hecker is continuing to steal money.
Prosecutors say Hecker has a drug and alcohol problem and has no impulse control. They argued Hecker has continued to hide money and lie to the court even after his guilty plea. Those factors, prosecutors said, contribute to the likelihood that Hecker would try and flee.
Prosecutors also revealed Monday that they will ask for the maximum 10-year sentence.
Hecker’s bankruptcy attorney commented on his dramatic weight loss. Barbara May said, “My guess is that the holidays have been tough on him he looks down 35 pounds or more.”
Hecker’s girlfriend Christi Rowan was in court on Tuesday. She decline to comment afterword.
According to Hecker’s bankruptcy lawyer, being allowed out and then surrendering might have given Hecker more points in the federal system that determines what prison you serve time in. Hecker had been hoping to be sentenced to serve his time at the Duluth federal prison camp.
“Duluth is certainly preferable,” May said. “It’s a dormitory setting, no bars and slamming doors. Now it is much more likely he will go to Rochester, which would be a medical facility appropriate for someone with diabetes.”
While the federal facility in Rochester does have medical facilities, so do other federal prisons across the country. Hecker and any other federal prisoners don’t decide where they do their time; the Federal Bureau of Prisons does.
WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy Reports