27-year-old arrested in beating of older man, 71

Adam Michael Mudgett (Source: Baxter County Sheriff Department)
Adam Michael Mudgett (Source: Baxter County Sheriff Department)

MOUNTAIN HOME, AR (KAIT) – Formal charges have been filed against a Cotterman following the beating of a 71-year-old man.

According to the Baxter County Sheriff Department, Adam Michael Mudgett, 27,is charged with battery in the first degree after police found an injured HermanR. Hackworth lying on the ground at Pigeon Creek Park, which is North ofMountain Home on Lake Norfork January 1.

Police say Mudgett claimed he hit Hackworth two or three times afterHackworth approached him, struck up an "uncomfortable" conversation, andreached out to grab him.

Officers say they found Hackworth lying between two large rocksapproximately 30 feet from the driver's side door of his van, bloody andincoherent. He was rushed to the Cox Medical Center in Springfield, and had sustainedserious physical injuries, including fractures to his face and skull.  Hewas later transferred yet again to a specialized treatment facility.

Sheriff's investigator processed the crime scene and determined that theincident happened sometime before 9:12 p.m., which is when Mudgett called bothhis wife and a friend about the situation he was in. Emergency services weren'tcalled until an hour later.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery explains that Mudgett left the crimescene after Hackworth fell to the ground and later returned with his friend,the first 911 caller. Sheriff Montgomery also stated that Mudgett's wife alsocalled emergency services were already en route to the park.

Mudgett gave officers conflicting statements over the following weeks,says Sheriff's Investigator Trey Edings, but a voicemail left for Mudgett'sfriend revealed that Mudgett had told his friend to deny everything if he wasquestioned.

Prosecuting attorney of the 19th Judicial District East wasappointed to this case as the special prosecuting attorney.

Mudgett was arrested March 28 and booked into the Baxter CountyDetention Center. He was release after posting a surety bond of $25,000 and isscheduled to appear in court April 12.

Hackworth'scondition is unknown at this time.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.