A Tri-Citian with a history of drug problems waited 40 hours after he was shot while allegedly trying to steal marijuana plants before seeking help for his painful injuries, officials said.
Daniel Ray Hansford, 53, was wounded by buckshot on the backside while fleeing from a medical marijuana garden in Finley last Thursday, said Benton County sheriff's deputies.
When he apparently could no longer stand the pain, he called a relative about his wounds late Friday night, said Detective Sgt. Kevin McCary.
The relative called authorities, and Hansford was found at a friend's home in Benton City.
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Up to that point, deputies weren't sure if the thief had been hit, McCary said.
They had notified Tri-City hospitals to be on the lookout for a patient with gunshot wounds after the owner of a licensed medical marijuana plot reported firing several shots at a suspect during the 5:40 a.m. burglary.
The 20-year-old Finley man told deputies he saw a man in his backyard putting plants from his 41-plant garden into a backpack. He said he initially fired a few times over the suspect's head, then at the fleeing man as he scrambled over a 6-foot fence.
Hansford allegedly got away with some pot.
Then about 10 p.m. Friday, he called a relative because he was in pain, McCary said.
Deputies found him at a home on the 400 block of Third Street in Benton City.
Hansford was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland for treatment and later released.
He is considered a transient because he lives in a motorhome, but is not considered a flight risk because investigators are familiar with him from prior contacts, McCary said.
The case will be forwarded to the Benton County Prosecutor's Office for possible charges.
On Monday, Hansford appeared in Benton County Superior Court on an unrelated drug case.
Judge Bruce Spanner found him guilty of possessing methamphetamine in a stipulated-facts trial.
Hansford was driving a pickup May 27 when a detective recognized him and knew his license was suspended.
He was arrested for driving with a suspended license, and a search turned up a small pouch with a black digital scale and small crystals on it, court documents said.
Hansford told the sheriff's officials he "did not know how the scale ended up in his pocket, and denied that there was methamphetamine on the scale," documents said.
The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab said the residue tested positive for meth.
Hansford is facing prison time when he is sentenced Oct. 30. He's being evaluated to determine if he is a candidate for a shortened sentence and drug treatment.
Prosecutors noted in court documents that he received a drug offender sentencing option March 2012.
Hansford's criminal history includes convictions for taking a vehicle without permission, second-degree possessing stolen property and two counts each of second-degree burglary, possessing a controlled substance and possessing a controlled substance with intent to manufacture or deliver.
His record dates to 1980 and involves cases in Washington and Oregon.
-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; email@example.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer