|Kerry Hubert pleaded guilty to striking his friend in the head with a baseball bat|
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
A Hardy man will serve three years of a five-year sentence after pleading guilty to beating a Roanoke man with an aluminum baseball bat during a fight last July.
Kerry Scott Hubert, 54, was also sentenced to two years probation, during which time he cannot consume alcohol, and eight years of good behavior, said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Robert Deatherage.
"Mr. Hubert was very remorseful and seemed honest when he recounted the events of that evening," Deatherage said. "He said he knew he messed up when he placed the defense of his vehicle above the worth of a human life."
Hubert pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding in April in connection with a fight on July 11, 2011, at Hubert's residence in the Villa Retreat Mobile Home Park on Meadow Drive in Hardy.
Hubert, 54, was originally charged with malicious wounding, but the charge was reduced to unlawful wounding through a plea agreement, Deatherage said. The commonwealth's attorney's office accepted the plea agreement because the fight was started by the victim and the only eyewitness in the case, besides the defendant and victim, is now deceased, he added. Before her death, the witness had given three contradictory statements to investigators about the incident.
On the night of the fight, the victim, Bradley Scott Keil, 49, and his girlfriend visited Hubert at his residence.
"All of them had been drinking when the fight broke out between Hubert and Keil," Deatherage said. "It was a full out brawl."
Keil and his girlfriend attempted to leave in Hubert's vehicle, so Hubert ran outside and struck Keil with a baseball bat two or three times in the head, Deatherage said. Hubert claimed that he was defending himself because Keil attacked him with a knife.
A knife was found near where Keil was lying in the front yard after the fight ended, Deatherage said. No fingerprints were found on the knife, but the bat and Hubert's jeans had Keil's DNA on them.
Keil suffered severe head trauma, and the right side of his body is paralyzed, Deatherage said.
Hubert apologized to Keil during the April hearing.
The suspended time is contingent upon Hubert having no contact with the victim, Deatherage said. Franklin County Circuit Court Judge W.N. Alexander II did not order restitution because Keil's medical bills are "astronomical" and could never be paid by Hubert. The judge recommended the victim file with the Virginia Criminal Injury Compensation Fund or pursue civil remedies.