Attempted murder lands man 2 life sentences

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Circuit Judge Charles A. “Lex” Short on Tuesday sentenced John David Hughes, 54, to two life sentences.

Hughes was convicted of attempted murder, burglary I, and reckless endangerment in March of this year. The charges stemmed from a May 2012, case in which the Wing man broke into the Red Oak Road home where his former girlfriend, her 16-year-old son, and a male were sleeping.

The male was shot in the shoulder, but the three occupants held Hughes down until law enforcement arrived. The victim was later treated and released from a local hospital, according to Star-News archives.

Hughes’ former girlfriend testified at his sentencing hearing that he was abusive during their relationship and that his level of violence had escalated. Hughes also made a statement before he was sentenced, admitting that he had committed the crimes for which he was convicted. Hughes said that he believed his actions were justified, adding, “I’m sorry nobody got killed.”

Judge Short sentenced Hughes to the maximum sentences – two terms of life imprisonment for the attempted murder and burglary I convictions and one year’s imprisonment for the reckless endangerment conviction. He ordered Hughes to pay court costs, a $500 assessment to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Commission, and fines totaling $11,000.

District Attorney Walt Merrell, who prosecuted the case, said, “Hughes broke into a woman’s home in the middle of the night and began firing a shotgun. He shot one man and missed his former girlfriend by inches. Had they not been able to take his gun way from him, this incident would likely have ended more tragically. Even now, he shows no remorse for what he has done. Prison is the only place for him, and I am pleased that Judge Short sentenced him to the maximum amount of prison time allowed by law.”