Men plead not guilty in fatal New Year's stabbing

MGN Online

WHITESBURG, Ky. (AP) - Two men charged in a fatal stabbing on New Year's Day have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Mountain Eagle reports 34-year-old James R. Huffman and 27-year-old Patrick Smith made an initial appearance on Thursday in Letcher County District Court. Huffman is charged with murder and assault. Smith is charged with complicity to murder, criminal mischief, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and tampering with physical evidence.

Police say 25-year-old Michael Hogg died early Wednesday from wounds suffered in a brawl outside the Streetside Grill & Bar in Whitesburg. Police say he was stabbed. Two others were injured.

Police have not released a motive.

The judge ruled on Thursday that Huffman and Smith qualify for public defenders and set preliminary hearings for both on Jan. 9.

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