Confessed murderer who killed Anderson Co. deputy when he was 17 - FOX Carolina 21

Confessed murderer who killed Anderson Co. deputy when he was 17 wants parole

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Joseph Hudgins (Source: SC Department of Corrections) Joseph Hudgins (Source: SC Department of Corrections)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A convicted killer who was already spared the death penalty now wants the opportunity for parole.

Joseph Paul Hudgins was 17 years old when he stole a vehicle and murdered Anderson County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Taylor. In July 1993, a jury convicted him of murder and he was sentenced to death.

However, Hudgins argued the death penalty was cruel and unusual punishment since he was a minor at the time of the crime. In 1996, He was given a new trial based on failure of counsel to object to evidence related to Hudgins' pre-trial psychological evaluation.

Hudgins waved his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to murder for a negotiated sentence. In exchange for his plea, the state agreed not to seek the death penalty and Hudgins was given life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hudgins, now 42 years old, wants the opportunity for parole. According to court documents filed on Monday, Hudgins is seeking a resentencing hearing under the grounds that the South Carolina Supreme Court ruling in Aiken v. Byars determined life without the possibility for parole for a juvenile offender was unconstitutional.

The paperwork states the Hudgins doesn't want to change his guilty plea, but wants a resentencing for the possibility of parole.

A judge granted Hudgins request for a resentencing and, if the sentence is changed, he could be parole eligible. A date for the resentencing has not yet been set.

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Hudgins was disciplined in 2015 for possession or attempt to possess a cell phone and conspiracy to smuggle contraband.

He is currently being held at the McCormick Correctional Institution.

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