Alford Plea taken in murder case

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SALYERSVILLE - A Magoffin County man charged with murder took the Alford Plea on Thursday.

Daniel H. Hackworth, 35, of Salyersville, was indicted in March 2013 on one count of murder in the first degree (a Class A felony). According to the indictment, on or about January 7, Hackworth allegedly committed murder when, with the intent to cause the death of another person, namely, Donnie R. Allen, he caused the death of such person.

In January 2013 officials confirmed Donnie Allen, 49, was fatally shot on January 7, at his home on Route 40 in Magoffin County. 

While a jury trial was scheduled for earlier this month, Hackworth, represented by Emma Jones and Carla Bowens-Tackett with the Department of Public Advocacy, was rearraigned on Thursday, April 3, opting to take the Alford Plea for an amended charge of reckless homicide, a Class D felony.

The offer from the Commonwealth attorney, which was accepted by Judge Kim Childers, listed that the state of the evidence was the reason for the amended charge and recommended three years in prison, probated for a period of three years, and no contact with the sons of the victim. 

When a criminal defendant takes an Alford Plea, he/she does not admit the act, but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge. The court will pronounce the defendant guilty.

Hackworth is scheduled for sentencing on April 17.

Updates will be released by the Independent as they become available.

Editor's Note: The indictment of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.