The Richmond Register

Crime

January 4, 2014

Berea man convicted in wife’s 2009 shooting death released

MADISON COUNTY — A Berea man convicted of manslaughter in the 2009 shooting death of his wife was released from prison Thursday after being incarcerated for four years and four months.

Hugh Phillip Skidmore III, 49, originally was charged with murder after his wife was found dead at their home Aug. 24, 2009, from a gunshot wound to the chest. The couple had resided on Forest Street.

However, Skidmore accepted a plea deal in early 2011, admitting he and Kimberly Skidmore, 52, had engaged in a drunken argument and there was an “unintentional discharge” of his gun. He added that he did engage in a wanton act that took his wife’s life.

At the time of the conviction, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith said the plea agreement was appropriate in light of the evidence in the case that would have been admissible at trial.

Skidmore had claimed he acted in self-defense, Smith said in the 2011 interview. Both the defendant and Kimberly Skidmore had high blood-alcohol content levels the night of the shooting, with Skidmore’s being .22 and his wife’s at .23, Smith added.

Skidmore also had called Berea police earlier the day of the shooting to say Kimberly Skidmore was “intoxicated and destroying his property and perhaps making him feel like he was in danger,” Smith said.

Hugh Skidmore was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but in Kentucky a person convicted of second-degree manslaughter is parole-eligible after serving 20 percent of his sentence.

Skidmore was released under a program called Mandatory Re-entry Supervision. He did not appear before a parole board, but he will be supervised similar to a parolee for the next six months.

Mandatory Re-entry Supervision was created by House Bill 463, a penal code reform bill passed in 2011 that aims to reduce prison population and costs.

Information about where Skidmore will be residing and the conditions of his supervised release were not available on the state Department of Correction’s website. However, it did state he was being supervised by parole officers in Fayette County.

The end date for his supervision is Oct. 5.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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