Bay County Man Gets "Time Served" Sentence for Manslaughter Plea

By  | 

Richard Hogarth was one of four people charged in the death of Thomas Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick died after he was beaten to death inside his home back in 1999.

In 2000 Hogarth agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter and testify against the other three suspects. Two were convicted of lesser crimes, the third found not guilty. Then, the judge sentenced Hogarth to 15 years.

He appealed, saying the sentence wasn't fair. A federal judge agreed and sent the matter back to a state court. Prosecutors realized they'd have a hard time getting another conviction and offered Hogarth a second plea deal for time served, which he excepted Monday.

"It was definitely in his best interest to enter a plea today. He's charged with second degree murder. He's looking at spending the rest of his life in prison if he went to trial and lost next week. In the alternative, he took the plea and he's getting out of jail (Monday)," said Jonathan Dingus, Hogarth's attorney.

Hogarth maintains his innocence and says another person is responsible for Fitzpatrick's death.