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WaterOz Owner Sentenced to 43 in Oz


WaterOz gets 43 in Oz

David Roland Hinkson, a former health-tonic broker and longtime favorite of the BW "True Crime" section, was finally sentenced in federal court on Friday for a variety of crimes including soliciting the murders of a district court judge, assistant U.S. Attorney and IRS agent. His forthcoming appeal notwithstanding, Hinkson won't be seen in society for 43 years-but he made his last appearance a memorable one.

Following an epic 19-hour sentencing hearing that featuring testimony from Hinkson, one of his victims and a slew of defense and prosecution witnesses, the 48-year-old Grangeville man finally got cranky on Friday night. According to the local U.S. Attorney's Office, Hinkson cursed at Judge Richard Tallman, attempted to clamber over the defense table at him and pushed several items, including a TV, onto the floor. U.S. Marshalls removed Hinkson from the courtroom, put him in shackles, and cleared the courtroom of spectators before the sentencing was completed.

Hinkson received a total of 10 years on charges of tax evasion, financial structuring, distributing a misbranded product and distributing an adulterated medical product, all stemming from his ownership of the Grangeville bottling company WaterOz. While heading WaterOz, Hinkson claimed that their chemical-laden water-which contained significant levels of the manic-depressive drug lithium-could cure afflictions ranging from AIDS to alcoholism to cancer. Between 1997 and 2000, he also refused to withhold any income taxes from his employees, often paying them in silver dollars, and failed to report almost $1,000,000 in income taxes.

The solicitation charges arose after an IRS investigation led to a raid on Hinkson's house and his arrest in 2002-an incident which he later recounted in a widely circulated editorial titled "David Hinkson's Day of Terror at the Hands of Satan's Foot Soldiers." Following his arrest, according to court records, Hinkson made at least a dozen statements about hiring a hit-man to kill U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge, Asst. U.S. Attorney Nancy Cook and IRS agent Steven Hines-including that he wanted to kill Cook and Hines while their children watched. Tallman added three years to the sentence because the solicitation crimes were committed while Hinkson was on pre-trial release on the tax charges.

At the sentencing, Tallman called Hinkson an intelligent man with a desire to do good, but with an inability to control his "evil side." Tallman indicated that he would recommend that the Bureau of Prisons consider Hinkson a high-risk inmate because of his continued hatred of government officials and his extensive finances.