2017-06-07 / Front Page

New trial date is set in Hogg case

A new trial date of December 4 has been set for James R. Huffman IV, nearly four years after the stabbing death of Michael Hogg on January 1, 2014. Huffman is charged with murder in the death.

Special Circuit Judge Kent Hendrickson, who set the new trial date, will hold the final pre-trail conference November 17.

The case had been set for trail April 17, but was delayed when defense witness Larry C. Stidham was killed in a one-vehicle collision the night before jury selection was to begin. Stidham had a child in common with prosecution witness Samantha Mullins.

Huffman and Patrick Smith, also of Pike County, both face trial in the Hogg murder. Smith, an ex-Marine, is charged with complicity to murder for allegedly holding Hogg down while Huffman allegedly stabbed him once in the chest, once in the throat and six times in the back.

Two other men were injured in the altercation, which occurred near a parking lot on Hayes Street. David Christopher Puckett of Jenkins was stabbed once in the back. Stacy Phillips of Thornton was wounded in the hand. In addition to murder, Huffman is charged with first-degree assault and second-degree assault in relation to those injuries.

Smith is also charged with criminal mischief for allegedly cutting the tires on the Jeep driven by Mullins, in which she, Hogg, Puckett and Phillips were attempting to escape from their attackers. Smith and Huff- man were arrested in the parking lot of the Letcher County Recreation Center, where Mullins hid her Jeep and called 911 after determining she could not drive the three men to the hospital because of four flat tires.

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