By Pamela Rensing
The former priest of Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah, who pleaded guilty last fall to charges of distributing child pornography and possessing methamphetamine, has died.
According to Perry County Coroner Paul Searby, Gerald Hechenberger was pronounced dead Friday morning, March 6, at Pinckneyville Community Hospital. He had been serving a nine-year sentence at Pinckneyville Correctional Center.
An autopsy will be performed on Monday, March 9.
On Nov. 7, 2019, he pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing pornographic photos of children and one count of possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced on January 14, 2020.