Monett man sentenced to 10 years in prison

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A former Monett man has been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison on an amended charge of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the 2007 death of a Pierce City man.

Michael Huggins, 26, formerly of Monett, entered the guilty plea on June 20 for the death of Joshua Woods Utter, 21, of Pierce City. Utter was killed Sept. 25, 2007. Huggins had previously been tried twice for second degree murder with both trials ending in mistrials.

Huggins has been jailed since his arrest on Oct. 16, 2007, two and a half weeks after the badly beaten body of Utter was discovered by a Missouri Department of Conservation employee at Stubblefield Access on Flat Creek near Jenkins.

Utter was placed into the custody of the Missouri Department of Corrections where he will serve the remainder of his sentence. Utter was given credit for time already served while awaiting disposition of the case.

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