A Worcester, Massachusetts, man accused of kidnapping, strangling, and throwing a child off a bridge now faces attempted murder charges.
Joshua Hubert, 36, was initially indicted on charges of kidnapping the daughter of a friend, then was later booked for attempted murder.
On Jan. 25 a grand jury returned indictments for two counts of attempted murder and one count each of kidnapping a child under 16, and strangulation or suffocation, according to the Worcester County district attorney’s website.
Hubert will be arraigned on these charges in Worcester Superior Court on Monday, Jan. 29.
Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said that Hubert was at a cookout with friends on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. The cookout was at the home of the grandparents of the girl in question. Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Riddle told CBS that Hubert had known the girl’s father since they were both in the fourth grade.
Hubert allegedly put the 7-year-old daughter of one of his lifelong friends in his car somewhere around 2 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 27, and drove away.
Hubert allegedly drove down I-290 to the bridge over Lake Quinsigamond, where he allegedly strangled the girl and threw her into the water 100 feet below, WCVB reported.
Investigators claim to have surveillance video, which shows Hubert at a gas station en route to the bridge and also said a witness saw him on the bridge around 3:30 a.m. according to WBZ.
The child survived the fall into the lake and managed to swim to shore on the Shrewsbury side of the lake. Once ashore, she made her way to the nearest home, that of Maeve Geary and asked for help.
“Fortunately, a greater tragedy was averted,” Early told NBC News. “The young victim had the strength to make it to shore and get help. I want to thank the resident who answered the door and helped the girl.”
An ambulance took the girl to a hospital. The child was injured but her injuries were not life-threatening, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
According to CBS Boston, the girl picked Hubert out of a lineup while at the hospital.
Hubert was arrested later that day.
Claims Complete Innocence
Hubert admits he was at the cookout all day and admits he bought gas at the gas station where surveillance cameras recorded him. He told his attorney, Richard Welsh, that he had no contact with the girl and never took her anywhere after the cookout.
Welsh told reporters after Hubert’s Aug. 31, hearing, that his client had no record and no history of any sort of unusual behavior.
Video from MassLive shows Welsh saying, “He is a very nice gentleman. He adamantly denies these offenses.”
Welsh described his client as “a gentleman with no record, has had a great life, has donated a lot of time to [the] community and now he’s sitting in a jail cell with, quite frankly, people that he shouldn’t be.”
Welsh later stated, “He absolutely did not leave with the girl.”
After that hearing bail was set at $1 million.