On the political front, David Hedrick has always had a lot to say.
On Tuesday morning, before a Clark County District Court judge, the former 3rd Congressional District candidate left it at, “Yes, sir.”
It was “Yes, sir,” when Judge John Hagensen asked if he wanted to waive his right to a speedy trial. And it was “Yes, sir,” when he was asked if he understood his rights.
Hedrick, the one-time Tea Party candidate for U.S. Rep. Brian Baird’s open seat, made a preliminary appearance Tuesday morning on suspicion of assaulting his wife. The judge postponed setting a trial date until Dec. 13, so Hedrick’s attorney, Jack Green, can conduct follow-up interviews in the case.
At the 10-minute hearing, Hedrick let his wife do most of the talking. Megan Hedrick asked the judge to lift a no-contact order imposed when her husband was arrested Oct. 10, saying she didn’t feel threatened by him and that the incident happened when she was going through a rough patch.
“The police report doesn’t reflect what actually happened,” Megan Hedrick said, noting they could lose their home if the no-contact order continued. “My husband is not dangerous.”
In response, Vancouver Assistant City Attorney Patrick Robinson noted how the case included allegations Hedrick struck his wife twice in the back of the head.
“It seems to be a pretty serious case,” he said.
After reviewing the police report, Hagensen agreed the allegations were serious but said enough time had elapsed that “I think there has been a cooling-off period.”
“I’m going to go ahead and rescind the no-contact order,” the judge said.
Following the judge’s decision, a smiling Megan Hedrick approached her husband, waiting for him to finish filling out paperwork. She smiled and waved at a Columbian photographer in the courtroom as they walked out.
When approached by a reporter, Hedrick declined comment, referring questions to his attorney. Green said: “Once cooler heads review the evidence, it’s going to show that David didn’t do anything wrong.”
According to court documents, the case surfaced from an argument at the couple’s Camas home. Hedrick allegedly knocked his wife to the floor before striking her in the head. She told a deputy that this followed her slapping him on the forearm.
Hedrick, at first, declined to make a statement to a deputy because he thought it could damage his political career, according to court documents. But then he told the deputy he did not hit his wife; rather, he pushed her to the floor when she tried to hit him with a folding chair. There was no mention in court documents about his wife sustaining any injuries.
Hedrick was arrested and arraigned on fourth-degree assault the next day and released on bail.
Monday evening, Megan Hedrick sent a statement to The Columbian, saying she wanted to set the record straight. She explained that she was “out of control” and that her husband had tried to calm her down and restrain her.
Since the charge has been filed, she said, she was fed up with “my husband being brutalized in the media.”
“The allegations against Dave are false, and I am asking everyone to be calm, patient and understanding in this difficult time,” she said in the statement.
Hedrick, a management consultant, rose to prominence in August 2009. when he confronted U.S. Rep. Brian Baird at a town hall meeting on health care reform and told him, “Stay away from my kids.” As a candidate for the vacated seat, he touted an aggressive campaign in which he called for privatization of Social Security and strict adherence to the original U.S. Constitution.
With 13.8 percent of the vote districtwide and 15.45 percent in Clark County, he came in third in the August primary election behind Republican Jaime Herrera and Democrat Denny Heck.
If convicted of fourth-degree assault domestic violence, Hedrick could face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.