2018-05-16 / News

Second trial in Hogg murder appears headed for elsewhere

By SAM ADAMS

The second trial in the Michael Hogg murder case could be moved to another county.

A hearing had been set to hear a change of venue motion filed by attorneys for Patrick Smith, however that hearing, along with an order to transport Smith to Letcher County, has been cancelled.

A guilty plea is also possible, though the prosecution would not comment.

Attorneys had filed an identical motion to one filed by attorneys for James R. Huffman IV, but included newspaper stories about Huffman’s trial in Whitesburg in December 2017. The attorneys claim Smith cannot get a fair trial in Letcher County because of widespread coverage of the case.

Special Letcher Circuit Judge Kent Hendrickson rejected that argument in Huffman’s case, but that was before Huffman’s twoweek trial. Huffman was found guilty on all counts, and the jury recommended a sentence of life plus 45 years.

Hendrickson, who is the Harlan Circuit Judge, indicated during that trial that if he did decide to change the venue for Smith’s trial, it would most likely be moved to Harlan County.

No order had been filed in the case at press time.

Hogg, of Kingscreek, was a 23-year-old college student home for Christmas break when he was stabbed multiple times early on New Year’s Day, 2014, after being involved in an altercation with Smith and Huffman on Hayes Street behind the old Whitesburg Post Office. Two of Hogg’s friends were injured in the assault as well, and all four tires were slashed on the Jeep the three and a woman friend used to escape.

Hogg’s friends tried to get him to the Whitesburg ARH Hospital, but hid the Jeep behind the Letcher County Recreation Center when they discovered they could not drive any farther on the damaged tires. They called 911 from there, but a fireman was already performing CPR when an ambulance arrived. Hogg bled to death before he reached the hospital.

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