By Esme Murphy

By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — On Friday morning, former auto dealer Denny Hecker finds out how much time he’ll serve in prison.

Prosecutors are asking for 10 years. Hecker wants eight.

Just two years ago, Hecker was living in an 18,000 square-foot Medina mansion, which featured outdoor and indoor pools and its own basketball court.

Since last fall, Hecker has been living in solitary confinement in the Sherburne County Jail.

His former attorney Brian Toder said Hecker never really seemed to understand how much trouble he was in.

“He didn’t act like someone who was facing imminent incarceration,” Toder said.

Denny  Hecker is in jail right now instead of on home detention because in the months leading up to and right after his guilty plea, he got access to, concealed and spent nearly $200,000.

“I think what did him in was really, the way he spent this money and didn’t account for it,” Toder said.

Anger over that makes it unlikely that Judge Joan Erickson will grant one of Hecker’s more unusual sentencing requests. Hecker want to be released tomorrow for three weeks before he reports to prison so he can say goodbye to his young children.

Toder thinks that is a longshot.

Toder said, “I don’t think this is going to happen in Denny’s case,” Toder said. “I would doubt that the judge would let him off before he does his time.”

Hecker is asking to be sentenced to the federal prison camp in Duluth, which was named by Forbes magazine as one of the top 12 best prisons to be sentenced to.

There are no bars and prisoners sleep in a dormitory setting. But that’s a call neither Hecker, nor the Judge makes. It’s up to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Hecker is also asking to be put in a prison rehab program to help with his drug and alcohol problems.

Rehab programs often give prisoners a slightly shorter sentence.


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