Former Judge Harding Expected to Change Plea

Former Judge Harding Expected to Change Plea

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- Former Fourth District Judge Ray Harding Junior -- who resigned from the bench on Friday -- is expected to plead guilty to drug charges today.

Harding had earlier pleaded innocent, but the Administrative Office of the Courts announced that a change-of-plea hearing had been scheduled.

Harding is charged with two felonies, for possession of cocaine and heroin.

Harding resigned just as the Judicial Conduct commission was preparing to issue a report to the state Supreme Court. That report could well have recommended that Harding be removed anyway.

The criminal charges can carry a five-year prison sentence, but first-time offenders usually get probation.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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