Casey Hardison

Casey Hardison

About a month after being arrested in California on a Teton County warrant, Casey Hardison is back in Jackson and ready to represent himself on five pending felony charges.

Hardison, an infamous DIY chemist and longtime advocate of psychedelic drugs, was extradited back to Jackson to face charges that stem from a botched 2018 drug bust with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations that led to a high-speed chase through Jackson.

After being booked into the Teton County Jail last week, Hardison appeared Thursday afternoon in Teton County Circuit Court, where he told Judge James Radda he intends to represent himself.

“I am well versed in my rights,” Hardison said.

Hardison also made an oral motion for discovery, including camera footage from his 2018 interaction with DCI, dispatch logs, forensic reports of the chain of custody of the marijuana from the exchange, and lists of witnesses the prosecutor intends to use.

Hardison was wanted on a $500,000 arrest warrant in Teton County on charges of delivery of marijuana and aggravated assault and battery from that drug bust. DCI agents said Hardison tried to run them over.

Hardison said he thought he was being robbed. According to court documents, agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations tried to arrest Hardison in an undercover drug sting. But the raid left Hardison with $6,000 of government cash and the cops with 2 pounds of marijuana.

“You would be better off with a lawyer,” Radda told Hardison in court.

After several minutes of discussion about why Hardison would rather represent himself than hire the public defender, Radda finally accepted his decision.

“You have waived your right to counsel,” Radda said. “You are a bright person, you are articulate and understand the consequences.”

Radda lowered Hardison’s bond to $250,000 after Hardison argued that there are criminals on Teton County’s warrant list facing more serous crimes than his with lower bails than his.

A Sept. 10 status hearing was set with a preliminary hearing expected to follow.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or courts@jhnewsandguide.com.

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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