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Assault, manhunt defendant headed to trial

Allan Hughes appears in this photo provided by the Michigan Department of Corrections.

ALPENA — In a brief court appearance on Tuesday, a man accused of attacking a resident in an Alpena home last year and sparking a police manhunt rejected a plea deal that would have spared him the possibility of life in prison for the alleged crime.

Police say Allan Hughes, 29, and another man broke into the home on April 27, beat at least one resident, then fled, leading police on a chase that ended with Hughes and the other man eluding capture when they scaled a fence near Decorative Panels International.

Investigation by the Alpena Police Department led to Hughes’ arrest in Arizona a week later, with the help of Scottsdale, Arizona police. Michigan State Police reports at the time listed Hughes as armed and “very dangerous.”

On Tuesday, Hughes turned down a plea offer from Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski under which he would have spent 10 years behind bars in exchange for an admission of guilt.

The seven current charges against Hughes – which include home invasion, armed robbery with serious injury, unlawful imprisonment, and possession of a firearm by a felon – could net him up to life behind bars if he meets sentencing criteria and a jury finds him guilty when he goes to trial in February.

That trial date will not change, even if Hughes goes through with his stated intention to fire attorney Ron Bayot, Judge Ed Black warned Hughes in Alpena’s 26th Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Hughes appeared via videoconference from a prison in St. Louis, Michigan, held on an alleged parole violation for a drug charge out of Kent County.

Also in court on Tuesday:

∫ William Allen, 70, learned he will serve 17 months behind bars – of which he has already served about 6 months – for sexually assaulting a young man at an Alpena campground in 2020.

Allen pleaded no contest – the equivalent of a guilty plea for sentencing purposes – to one reduced charge of assault with intent to commit sexual penetration after the survivor said Allen plied him with alcohol and coerced him into sexual activity, including covering the younger man’s face with cling wrap and choking him.

Black sentenced Allen to the highest end of the sentencing guidelines for the charge.

∫ Black said Chase Stemkowski, 32, will serve six months in jail and five years’ probation for having sex with an incapacitated woman who was not able to consent to the sex.

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