GARY E. HUDSON, d/o/b 11-11-1972, of Branson, entered guilty pleas in two (2) felony cases on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – via video conference call – in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Circuit Court Judge Laura Johnson accepted Hudson’s two (2) video guilty pleas to the charges of class C felony burglary in the second degree and sentenced him to ten (10) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections in both cases, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office. Hudson is already in the Missouri Department of Corrections serving other sentences, which prompted pleas and sentencings to be accomplished by video.
Hudson had burglarized several storage units in the summer of 2015, for which he was arrested. Since the fall of 2015, Hudson has been in custody. Rather than incur the risk and expense of transporting Hudson back to Taney County for court, video-conferencing was used. “While video-conferencing is not an option in every case, we try to use it whenever possible,” said Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell. “It saves Taney County money each time we are able to resolve a case without transporting the defendant.”
Hudson’s sentences are to run concurrently with his other sentences. The class C felony of burglary in the second degree normally carries a maximum penalty of seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and a $5,000.00 fine. However, Hudson was charged by the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office as a prior and persistent felony offender, increasing his maximum possible sentence to fifteen (15) years.