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Family of Shane Hadnot, members of New Black Panther Party rally outside federal courthouse
BEAUMONT - The parents of a man charged with selling drugs linked to Alfred Wright's death rallied Wednesday morning outside the federal courthouse, denying their son had anything to do with Wright's death.
A detention hearing for Shane Hadnot is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Sharon Hadnot, the mother of Shane Hadnot, says her son may be guilty of selling drugs but he's not guilty of murder. Members of the New Black Panther Party are attending the rally in support of the Wright and Hadnot families.
A federal grand jury last week indicted Hadnot on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance resulting in death, and distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death.
Prosecutors say he sold drugs Wright took that led to his death.
Last week, relatives of Wright and supporters held a rally in downtown Houston, claiming the investigation and charges are a "cover up." Supporters of Hadnot are making the same contention.
According to the indictment, Hadnot admitted selling a gram of cocaine and three Xanax tablets to Wright, but not methamphetamine.
(Last Friday) BEAUMONT - The U.S. Attorney's Office has announced a federal grand jury on August 6 indicted a 28-year-old Jasper man for federal drug violations linked to the death of Alfred Wright.
U.S. Attorney John Malcolm Bales announced Shane Dwayne Hadnot was indicted August 6 by a federal grand jury charging him with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance resulting in death, and distribution of a controlled substance resulting in death. Hadnot was arrested on August 7 and will appear before U.S. Magistrate Keith Giblin Friday.
Wright's family released statements about the indictment to KFDM's Haley Bull.
"I am really convinced that this is a follow-up to a full-fledged cover up and they're using this young man as the fall guy, as the smoke screen," said Douglas Wright, Alfred Wright's father.
Wright's sister is also speaking out about the indictment.
"Our family, we are appalled, number one," said Kassilia Wright, Alfred Wright's sister. Number two, it does not justify or rectify the truth behind Alfred's death. We are yet relentless in our search for the truth and we are not looking for a scapegoat just to satisfy the minds of the people, but we are not going to stop pursuing justice, true justice, for Alfred Nehemiah Wright."
According to the indictment, on November 7, 2013, Alfred Wright, of Jasper, Texas, was reporting missing by his family after his truck broke down in rural Sabine County. Articles of Wright's clothing were found on private land, approximately a mile from where Wright was last seen. After searchers initially failed to locate Wright, his body was body was found on November 25, 2013 in brush near where his clothing had been found. An investigation into the cause of Wright's disappearance and death revealed his involvement with Shane Hadnot. Phone records, witness statements, and drug evidence located during the search of Shane Hadnot's car, indicated that Hadnot was selling cocaine to Alfred Wright.
During the two-day period before Wright's death, Hadnot and Wright exchanged 20 text messages. The indictment alleges that on November 7, 2013, Wright sent a text message to Hadnot at 12:36 p.m. requesting to purchase cocaine and other illegal narcotics from Hadnot. Wright went missing approximately five hours later. An autopsy was performed on Wright's body and toxicology revealed that Wright's blood contained cocaine, methamphetamine and Xanax. The final autopsy report, and other experts in the fields of pathology, toxicology, and anthropology, concluded that Wright's cause of death was an accident due to combined drug intoxication.
If convicted, Hadnot faces from 20 years to life in federal prison on each charge.
This case is being investigated by the Texas Rangers, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brit Featherston and John Ross.
It is important to note that a grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt.