Crime

He’ll spend 30 years in prison for kidnapping woman outside of Gulfport nightclub

Maurice Pugh
Maurice Pugh

Maurice Pugh of Laurel will serve 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a kidnapping outside of Club Envy in Gulfport last year.

Pugh, 41, entered his guilty plea on Wednesday and Judge Lisa Dodson sentenced him to the maximum prison time for kidnapping. He was prosecuted as a habitual offender, which makes him ineligible for parole or early release.

He was released from state prison about a month before being charged with this attack on Feb. 14, 2016. Pugh was on post-release supervision from Jones County for kidnapping and rape, Harrison County District Attorney Joel Smith said in a press release.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell told the court the victim was leaving Club Blue Envy when a man grabbed her from behind, dragged her to a nearby vehicle and began to take off her clothes as she fought back. That’s when officers arrived on the scene.

Gulfport Police Officer Bryan Watson was conducting a routine patrol of the area off of U.S 49 and 26th Avenue when he was flagged down and told by a friend of the victim that someone had grabbed her and carried her off. Pugh was found a short distance away holding the victim around her neck, and fled when spotted by the officer, the report said.

Dodge ordered Pugh’s sentence to begin in Harrison County after he completes his time for the Jones County conviction.

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