Local man gets 5-plus years

By Joe Beck

FRONT ROYAL — A local man was sentenced Tuesday to five years and four months in prison for robbery of a business and several other offenses he said were linked to his drug addiction.

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp said the case against Daniel Joseph McKay Haugen, 29, required him to weigh the seriousness of the crimes against the defendant’s stated commitment to his family and remorse for his actions.

Authorities accused Haugen of entering the Kmart at 465 South St. on Jan. 18, approaching the pharmacy and handing a note to the pharmacist demanding medication. Haugen fled after obtaining the medication, according to Front Royal police.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Madden said the incident terrified the pharmacist.

In an interview after the hearing, Madden said Haugen was unarmed but the pharmacist had to assume otherwise.

“At one time, he said, ‘give me the pills or I’ll shoot you or blow you up,'” Madden said of Haugen.

Haugen, and his attorney, William Olien, pleaded for a lenient sentence. Family members also testified on Haugen’s behalf.

The other charges against Haugen included credit card theft, attempted escape from jail and distribution of oxycodene.

Olien said his client’s crimes were driven by a drug addiction.

“There is no question he got involved in drugs, and all this string of events grew out of that,” Olien told Hupp.

Haugen apologized to family members and victims of his crimes.

“I was lost in a black place,” Haugen said, adding, “I want to remain clean and sober for myself and my family.”

Haugen’s sentence includes five years of supervised probation. He was sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison, nearly 25 years of which were suspended.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com