MURDER USA: Thomas Hughes Sentenced to Eight Years in Prison for Killing Nicholas Keys
UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Thomas Hughes, 32, of Greenbelt, Md., was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspending all but eight, for manslaughter and second-degree assault for causing the death of a man after a fistfight, announced State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy.
On June 4, 2018, Bowie police officers responded to a reported assault in a shopping center parking lot, where they found Nicholas Keys, 21, of Bowie, lying on the ground. Keys was transported to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery for his injuries.
The investigation and trial revealed that Keys confronted Hughes’ girlfriend for hitting his car door with hers. After an argument ensued, Hughes hit Keys twice with his fist, knocking him to the ground. On June 8, 2018, Keys was taken off life support and died as a result of his injuries.
After a two-day trial, the jury returned the guilty verdict in five and a half hours.
“I am pleased that we are able to bring closure to this case for Mr. Nicholas Keys’ family. This was an unfortunate case in which a man lost his life at a very young age over a minor dispute,” said State’s Attorney Braveboy. “There are so many other ways to resolve conflict and if an individual resorts to unnecessary violence, we will hold them accountable.”
MURDER USA: Batter Up! 2nd time for murder rap for ex-con Thomas Hughes; now charged with homicide for beating Nicholas Keys to death with a baseball bat
Hey Killer! The State Pen Ball Team Wants You!
UPPER MARLBORO, MD. – For a Bowie man now charged with murder, the second time might be the charm. A Prince Georges County Grand jury indicted Thomas Freddie Hughes, of Dansel Court in Bowie for beating another man to death with a baseball bat. The bat he used had been initially produced by the victim for the purpose of bashing the accused killer. Hughes disarmed the victim and allegedly used it to beat the man to near death, which was the result three days later.
Hughes, charged with murder in connection with the death of 21-year-old Nicholas Keys of Pointer Ridge Drive in Bowie was also indicted by a Prince Georges County Grand Jury on May 19, 2009, with first-degree murder, use of a handgun in a felony crime, first and second-degree assault, conspiracy, and robbery.
In a plea deal with then-Prince Georges County States Attorney Glen Ivey on Jan. 20, 2010, Hughes changed his plea of not guilty to guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was being tried with three other men and the transcript of the day’s proceedings was ordered sealed by Judge Smith. When sentencing finally took place on Sept. 16, 2011, after several postponements, Hughes was sentenced to 20 years in prison with all but 8 years suspended and credit given for time served of 2 years and 172 days.
Following his arrest on the assault charges on Keys and prior to the victim’s death, a bench warrant was issued for Hughes on June 25, 2018.
Hughes is charged with becoming involved in a parking lot dispute on June 4, 2018, at approximately 5:40 pm, when officers with the City of Bowie Police Department responded to the report of an assault in a shopping center located on Excelsior Drive.
Police say the suspect and victim got into a dispute over a damaged car door in the parking lot near the Dollar Tree. Detectives learned the suspect attacked the victim with a baseball bat. The Bowie Police Department arrested Hughes who was initially charged with assault.
In charging documents, Hughes’ girlfriend who was with him at the scene before they both fled, later told police the victim had it coming to him.
The victim died three days after the assault. An autopsy determined the cause of death was head injuries with complications along with multiple facial fractures. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.
A grand jury indicted Hughes with murder. He is in the custody of the Prince Georges County Jail on a no-bond status.
The Prince George’s County Police Department investigates all homicides that fall within the City of Bowie.
Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or go online at www.pgcrimesolvers.com, or use the “P3 Tips” mobile app (search “P3 Tips” in the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app onto your mobile device.)