Chad E. Hudson spent the day before his 30th birthday pleading guilty at the Sumter County Judicial Center to the aggravated assault of a close friend.
Hudson pleaded guilty Thursday before At-large Circuit Court Judge D. Craig Brown to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. He was sentenced to five years in the state Department of Corrections.
Hudson has served 337 days since his arrest last fall for attempted murder and possession of marijuana. He was accused of dragging Randal W. Huggins, 27, by pickup truck for a short distance along Gibbs Dairy Road, causing the man grievous bodily injuries.
“He and the victim, along with another person, had been out socializing,” 3rd Circuit Assistant Solicitor W. Jason Corbett told Brown. “There was some argument, and (the victim) got out of the car ... The defendant began attempting to use his vehicle to hit the victim. At some point, the victim became caught on the truck, and the defendant drug him along.”
At the scene, deputies were alerted that one man had apparently been hit by a car, and several witnesses told the officers they had seen a man being dragged in the roadway underneath a silver Ford F-150.
Deputies located the victim on the side of Gibbs Dairy Road with “severe lacerations to his arms, legs, torso and head” and “gurgling blood from his mouth,” according to reports.
“When he finally came loose from the truck, the victim had (severe) injuries,” Corbett said. “He is now in a rehabilitation-type facility.”
Hudson’s vehicle was located in a ditch on Zachery Road, and witnesses directed police to a nearby home where Hudson was located.
“(Hudson) gave several different stories regarding the incident,” Corbett said.
One was that he’d been knocked out and the vehicle had been stolen from him, according to reports. Hudson also admitted to deputies that he had been drinking, and a bag of marijuana was found in his pocket. Transported to Tuomey Regional Medical Center for a cut under his right eye, Hudson reportedly became combative, resisted medical treatment and was Tased after attempting to kick a doctor.
Sumter Assistant Public Defender S. Elaine Cooke said Hudson’s behavior was a reaction to an alleged threat from the victim.
“He was a victim of an assault where he almost died, and he has a bit of post-traumatic stress from that event,” Cooke said. “He says the victim was trying to get in the truck and said he was going to kill him. He does agree he is guilty of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.”
Hudson told Brown he was “truly sorry for what has happened.”
“What starts out as a fun night, with some alcohol and/or drugs, more often than not turns into destruction,” Brown said. “And it ends with you or a defendant like you standing before me for something dumb.”