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Wesley Hadsell's drug dealer testifies during trial

Several people took the stand on Wednesday, including Wesley Hadsell's drug dealer and investigators who worked the case.

FRANKLIN, Va. — The first person to testify Wednesday was Wesley Hadsell’s former boss. He no longer lives in the area and had to fly in from Ohio for his testimony.

Before Hadsell’s arrest for the murder of his step-daughter, AJ Hadsell, he worked for a heating and air conditioning company out of Virginia Beach. His direct supervisor called him a “good employee” and that he worked at the company for about a year.

Prosecutors showed jurors pictures of Hadsell’s work van, saying that the day AJ went missing from her home in Norfolk, Hadsell was working at a job site in Norfolk.

Hadsell’s supervisor said Hadsell came back from lunch about an hour late on that day. He said Hadsell told him he had to give AJ some money and he met her at a gas station.

The supervisor said Hadsell acted upset, and he ended up leaving work early. 

Hadsell was supposed to work in Franklin the next day, but showed up at the job site in Norfolk. The supervisor said Hadsell told him he didn't trust the police. He also said Hadsell changed his story several times.

A former Norfolk Police officer who is currently an NCIS agent testified she spent about nine months on this case. She said when she first interviewed Hadsell he had on muddy clothes and looked extremely tired. She felt he was not coherent. Hadsell told the officer that he had marriage problems with AJ’s mom due to him using cocaine again.

According to the officer, Hadsell told her he gave AJ money on April 2, 2015, the day she disappeared. He also said he gave her money a week prior.

This officer said she went to Longwood University with other investigators during the search for AJ. They searched AJ’s room and found it very neat and organized.

At one point the officer said Hadsell told her he became frustrated with Norfolk Police for not sharing enough information and told her he hired a private investigator. She said he also made a comment "saying if I would do something, I would 'fall off the grid.'"

Jurors also saw surveillance video of Hadsell withdrawing money at a credit union the day AJ disappeared. The prosecution pointed out that Hadsell looked back at his work van six times in about 30 seconds.

A man who said he frequently sold drugs to Wesley Hadsell also testified on Wednesday. That man received a plea deal as long as he testified in this case.

That former drug dealer said this trial is extremely hard because he considers Wesley Hadsell a good friend. He told jurors he sold Hadsell cocaine and heroin in the past for around $800 as well as the day after AJ Hadsell’s disappearance.

The medical examiner determined AJ died from acute heroin poisoning.

The last person to take the stand Wednesday was AJ Hadsell’s best friend, Andre Barr. He hung out with AJ just days before she disappeared from Norfolk. Barr told jurors he helped with several searches, made posters with AJ’s pictures, and said Wesley Hadsell was by his side.

Barr said Hadsell typically directed friends and family on where to look for AJ’s belongings. At one point, Barr said Hadsell told people, “If you want to find her, you need to say what I do.”

Barr said while spending time with Hadsell and some of AJ’s friends, Hadsell tried to intimidate them. Barr said Hadsell talked about the guns he owned and said he’s a part of the Aryan Brotherhood, which is a Neo-Nazi prison gang.

Attorneys for the prosecution said they plan to call several other witnesses. This trial is expected to last about a month. 

The attorney representing Wesley Hadsell said former Governor Ralph Northam will testify. He was AJ’s pediatrician. That testimony is expected to happen next week.

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