Adam Michael Mudgett
An arrest has now been made and charges filed against a Cotter man after an investigation into an incident that occurred on January 1, 2012 at the Pigeon Creek Park, which is North of Mountain Home on Lake Norfork.
At approximately 10:19 PM on January 1st, the Sheriff’s Office was notified that the 911 call center had received a report that an injured man had been found lying on the ground at Pigeon Creek Park. While responders were enroute to the park, the 911 center received another call, this one from a lady stating that her husband had been involved in an altercation at the Pigeon Creek Park.
Upon arrival at the park, Sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Boucher found a white mini van and a man, later identified as Herman R. Hackworth, 71 years old of Mountain Home, lying between two large rocks approximately 30 feet from the driver’s side door of the van. Mr. Hackworth had injuries to his head, was bloody, and seemed incoherent. At that time, he was unable to give authorities any information about what happened. Mr. Hackworth was transported by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home.
Sheriff’s Investigators processed the incident crime scene and gathered evidence. The other person involved in the incident, identified as Adam Michael Mudgett, 27 years old of Cotter, met with authorities later the same evening at the Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Mudgett told investigators that he was at Pigeon Creek Park and that a man approached him and struck up a conversation. Mr. Mudgett alleges that the person, identified as Herman Hackworth, began to speak of things of that made Mr. Mudgett uncomfortable, and then reached out to grab Mr. Mudgett. When this occurred, Adam Mudgett stated he struck Herman Hackworth two or three times. Mr. Hackworth fell to the ground, and Mr. Mudgett left him there, then drove away and left the park. Mr. Mudgett placed a call to his wife and also to a friend to tell them what had happened. This friend went to the Pigeon Creek Park, found Mr. Hackworth on the ground unresponsive, and is the person who initially called 911 for help. Mr. Mudgett had also returned to the scene and was met there by his friend, the 911 caller.
Mr. Mudgett gave conflicting statements to Sheriff’s Investigator Trey Edings over the following weeks. Investigator Edings also obtained a copy of a voice mail recording that Mr. Mudgett left for his friend who had called 911, telling the friend to deny everything if questioned by law enforcement.
Evidence indicates that the incident occurred before 9:12 PM, which is when Mr. Mudgett first placed a call to his wife. However, the first call was not placed to 911 for help until 10:19 PM on the evening in question, over an hour later.
Herman Hackworth was later transferred to Cox Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri. He was found to have sustained serious physical injuries, including fractures to his face and skull. He was later transferred yet again to a specialized treatment facility.
The Baxter County Prosecuting Attorney, Ron Kincade, recused himself from the case due to the fact that both the wife of the victim and the wife of the offender have worked for him at his office. Mr. Tony Rogers, Prosecuting Attorney of the 19th Judicial District East, was appointed as Special Prosecuting Attorney to review the incident and associated evidence and determine if charges would be filed.
After reviewing the evidence, the Special Prosecutor’s Office decided to file a charge of BATTERY IN THE FIRST DEGREE – CLASS B FELONY against Adam Michael Mudgett. A bench warrant was issued by the Baxter County Circuit Court on March 27th, and the warrant was served on Adam Mudgett on Wednesday, March 28th. He was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center and later released after posting surety bond in the amount of $25,000. Adam Mudgett is scheduled to appear in Baxter County Circuit Court on April 12th.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff