Trial date set for Science Hill man accused of shooting McCreary County Deputy

Mark L. Dungan

The Science Hill man accused of shooting a McCreary County deputy sheriff as he responded to a welfare check last summer has a trial date.

The order for Mark Lynn Dungan, 49, of Hall Street, was issued late last month scheduling him to stand trial starting October 20.

Dungan has pleaded not guilty to charges of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, first-degree Fleeing or Evading Police (Motor Vehicle), first-degree Wanton Endangerment (Police Officer), first-degree Criminal Mischief, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Resisting Arrest, and Convicted Felon in Possession of a Handgun.

The charges stem from a July 16 incident which began around 8 p.m. in the Marshes Siding community of northern McCreary County. McCreary County Deputy Dustin Tyler Watkins and District 3 Constable Cody Stephens were responding to a welfare check at a home on Lick Creek Road.

When he got to the house, Dep. Watkins reportedly found Dungan in a vehicle outside. As the deputy approached, Dungan allegedly fired several rounds from a handgun -- striking Watkins reportedly in the abdomen and chest.

As he fled the scene, Dungan's vehicle reportedly struck Constable Stephens' cruiser head on but he continued on Lick Creek Road. Authorities caught up to him later in a nearby cemetery and Dungan was arrested without further incident.

Constable Stephens was not injured in the collision with Dungan.

Dep. Watkins was flown from the scene to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville in critical condition. The 28-year-old reportedly underwent two surgeries before his release from the Knoxville hospital. He was awarded a Medal of Honor by the Kentucky Sheriff's Association last fall.

Dungan -- who remains lodged in the Leslie County Detention Center in lieu of a $500,000 cash bond -- is next scheduled to appear in McCreary Circuit Court on June 16 for a pretrial conference.

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