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A Monroe man will spend a year behind bars for his role in an altercation, last summer, that resulted in the death of a young woman.
The shooting occurred outside a residence on Johnson Mountain Road last summer. Joshua Hughes, 28, and Audrey Michelle Bryan, 25, were hit by shots fired from a .22 caliber rifle. Bryan died from her wound.
The shootout occurred following an argument that began in Amherst County and concluded at the Huddleston home of Michael Thomas Loboschefski. Loboschefski, who is alleged to have fired the shot that killed Bryan, faces charges of felony murder, malicious wounding, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and malicious shooting at an occupied vehicle.
Hughes has admitted to firing a shotgun after exiting the vehicle he was driving to Loboschefski’s home.
Last month, Hughes entered no contest pleas to involuntary manslaughter and brandishing a firearm, charges that stemmed from the Aug. 11 shootout in which Bryan was killed.
Both Deuty Com-monwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance and Mark Arthur, Hughes’ defense attorney, presented witnesses at Hughes’ sentencing hearing Friday afternoon in Bedford County Circuit Court. Joanne Bryan, Audrey Bryan’s mother, urged Hughes to stop being the tough guy he thinks he is. She described Hughes as generous saying that he had been helping her and her husband with repairs to their house.
“It has been very hard for me to deal with this,” said Arlis Bryan “I watched Joshua do good things and I watched him do bad things.”
He said that Hughes tended to do good actions when he was with good people and bad actions when he was with bad people.
“I have two nephews that don’t have a mom,” he said. “This is because you chose to hang around with the wrong people. Your actions need to be punished.”
“I’d just like to see him get on track and get a job,” said Jason Shores, who told the court that he has known Hughes for 11 years.
“My whole family thinks a lot of him,” Shores concluded.
“I’ve known him his whole life,” added Sharon Proffitt, Hughes’ aunt. “I’ve always believed he had a great heart.”
Another aunt, Faye Crouch, said that Hughes seems to have become a kinder, gentler person since the incident and that he no longer hangs with the same crowd he did last summer.
Gayle Hughes, Joshua Hughes’ mother, said that her son has told her that he wishes it had been him, instead of Bryan, who had been killed. She also testified that her son no longer drinks like he used to. His sister, Karen Crouch, testified that he had told her that, as well.
“The frustrating thing about her [Bryan’s] death is how easily preventable it was,” said Nance, who went on to say that Hughes is criminally responsible for her death because, by bringing a shotgun to the confrontation, “he threw gas on a very dangerous fire that was already burning.” Nance asked Judge James Updike for a sentence that would result in two years of active jail time.
“He regrets the decisions he made that night,” said Arthur. Arthur said that his client tried to stop Bryan and her sister from going to the fight that night. He said that everybody involved in the incident went there voluntarily. He asked the judge to give Hughes a suspended sentence.
“I think that your conduct in a very volatile situation is aptly defined as pouring gasoline on a fire,” Judge Updike said to Hughes before pronouncing sentence.
Hughes received a six year sentence that includes 12 months of active jail time.