Commonwealth Journal

May 16, 2013

Accused attacker faces five years

Dugger enters Alford plea in case involving child

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

A Somerset man who allegedly attacked two victims last year with a hammer appeared in Pulaski Circuit Court last week. 
Herbert “Herbie” Dugger, Jr., 35, entered an Alford plea of guilty to several charges stemming from a September attack at a Crane Street home in Somerset that left a female and a child injured. 
The Alford plea — entered when a defendant maintains innocence but acknowledges that enough evidence exists to bring about a conviction in court — was entered for assault under extreme emotional distress (regarding a minor), fourth-degree assault, and menacing. 
The Somerset Police Department responded on Sept. 25 to a report of an apparent assault the evening before at a residence on Crane Street. Once officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Kristen McWain, and a male juvenile suffering from wounds sustained during the alleged assault.  
Dugger had allegedly attacked the victims with a hammer, and McWain’s injuries were consistent with their statements, according to police. The juvenile, a teenager, allegedly suffered some abrasions from the hammer and from the perpetrator’s fists. 
Dugger, who Smith said appears to be McWain’s boyfriend, allegedly fled the scene on foot after the apparent assault. Dugger was found about 24 hours later after a traffic stop. 
The case took a turn when McWain, the female adult victim, apparently recanted portions of her statement to police, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David L. Dalton.
McWain “ ... filed a letter with the court hoping that Dugger be absolved from the crime,” according to Dalton. 
Dugger was previously convicted in 1995, at age 17, of manslaughter in the death of Joe Franklin Bryant, 36, who was shot and killed. 
Dalton stated in court that the alleged assault on the child was “unacceptable.”
Dalton recommended a five-year prison sentence for the alleged assault on the child.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette set final sentencing for tomorrow, May 16.