July 2, 2004 in Idaho

Trial set in alleged plot to kill officials

Associated Press
 

BOISE — Trial was set for Sept. l for a Grangeville man accused of plotting to kill a judge, prosecutor and federal agent because they were involved in a tax-evasion case against him.

David Hinkson, 47, will be tried by a visiting judge under the order issued Thursday by U.S. Magistrate Mikel Williams.

Williams also ordered Hinkson held in jail until the trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Tallman.

Tallman is the judge who will sentence Hinkson July 29 on 26 tax evasion counts and two counts under Food and Drug Administration laws of selling misbranded drugs and equipment. All of those charges, which carry maximum sentences of one to five years, stem from operation of WaterOz, Hinkson’s international mineral water company that claimed the water contained metals, such as gold and silver, which have medicinal properties.

It was in connection with those charges filed in mid-2002 that the government accused Hinkson of asking a business associate, James Harding, and another man between December 2002 and March 2003 to kill U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Cook and Internal Revenue Service Agent Steven Hines.

Hinkson is also charged with threatening the lives of the children of Cook and Hines.

Lodge eventually turned the criminal case over to Tallman, but Cook and Hines remained to prosecute the case.

Defense attorney Wesley Hoyt has called the case a fabrication based on rumors started by disgruntled former employees and business associates against an admitted eccentric.

The indictment was filed June 22 in federal court in Boise.

© Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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