Kenai Superior Court Judge Charles Huguelet sentenced William Daugherty, 47, to time served for a fourth-degree assault conviction. A Homer jury had found Daugherty not guilty on three felony counts of kidnapping, third-degree assault and third-degree weapons misconduct in a trial held last month, but found him guilty of two counts of fourth-degree assault, domestic violence.
While awaiting trial, Daugherty had been at Wildwood Pretrial Facility. After being found not guilty on the felony charges, he was released on bail while he waited for his sentencing on March 26. The state had asked for a maximum sentence of 365 days while his lawyer, William Taylor, asked for a time served sentence, about 353 days. Since Daugherty had served his time, no conditions of probation were set, such as a requirement that he enroll in a batterer’s intervention program, a common condition in domestic violence assault sentences.
Daugherty had been charged with kidnapping and assault after an incident where he drove around Homer with a woman, then 18, in early July 2012. The woman claimed Daugherty held her at gunpoint and threatened her. No gun was found. One juror said she was not convinced by the alleged victim’s testimony, and that the jury didn’t believe the state had sufficient evidence to convict.
“It is a shame the Alaska law requires someone accused of a crime to remain in jail, in this case without bail, when he wasn’t guilty of the crime for which he was accused,” Taylor said.
Taylor said Alaska law makes certain charges, such as kidnapping, unbailable. Taylor said he has argued that this violates the Alaska Constitution, which states that everyone is entitled to reasonable bail, but that judges have not listened to his arguments.
“Meanwhile, innocent Alaskans, as well as overcharged Alaskans, will have to sit in jail unnecessarily,” Taylor said.
If he had only been charged initially with assault, Taylor said Daugherty most likely would have been sentenced to 30 to 60 days, with conditions of probation such as batterer’s intervention and anger management classes.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.