A man accused of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl and throwing her off a bridge into a Massachusetts lake now faces an upgraded charge of attempted murder.
A state judge in Worcester on Thursday set bail at $1million for Joshua Hubert after a warrant alleging the new charge was issued. Prosecutors and the defense agreed on the bail amount.
The 35-year-old Hubert was originally charged with kidnapping.
Police say Hubert and the father of the little girl have known each other since the fourth grade, and the child herself knew Hubert prior to the incident.
‘She knows. She has known him her entire life,’ Worcester Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Riddle said in court. ‘She knows him very well.’
Hubert’s lawyer says his client maintains his innocence.
Joshua Hubert (above), is accused of kidnapping a 7-year-old girl and throwing her off a bridge into a Massachusetts lake. He now faces an upgraded charge of attempted murder
Authorities say Hubert is a family friend who took the girl from her grandparents’ Worcester home on August 27, choked her and threw her off the Interstate 290 overpass into Lake Quinsigamond
But cops say the brave child identified him after swimming out of the 600ft-wide 85ft-deep lake and walking to a nearby home for help, Massachusetts Live reported.
Authorities say that Hubert was attending a cookout at the home when he snatched the girl, who was sleeping on a chair, at around 2:30am.
He then bundled her into his car, wrapped in a blanket, and drove off into the night, they claim.
At one point he stopped the car and choked the girl before driving on Interstate 290 across a bridge over Lake Quinsigamond and throwing her over, cops say.
But despite her young age, the brave girl survived her fall, and swam about 100 yards to shore and knocked on the door of a waterfront home in Shrewsbury at 4am.
She told police that she then located the first house with lights on and knocked on the door. That home was located in Shrewbury, across the lake from Worcester.
The seven-year-old girl was able to survive and swam about 100 yards to shore where she knocked on the door of a waterfront home in Shrewsbury at 4am. The bridge pictured above is thought to be the one she was thrown from
Hubert, who has no history with the court system, is maintaining his innocence
‘At approximately 4:30am, about two hours [after she was taken], a woman from Shrewsbury was awoken by knocks at her door and found the seven-year-old victim standing at her door in pajamas soaking wet,’ prosecutor Cheryl Riddle said.
Riddle did not suggest a motive for the shocking incident.
The prosecutor said that after kidnapping the young girl, the suspect drove around for roughly 90 minutes.
Authorities still do not know where he went as of Wednesday.
But based on surveillance video and an eyewitness, he was spotted on the bridge where the girl was thrown off, Riddle said.
‘There are injuries that support [the girl’s] claim,’ Riddle said without describing them.
His defense attorney, Richard Welsh Jr., told reporters that he agreed to the bond amount because Hubert also has a new charge out of Westborough.
‘The man has no history with the court system,’ he said.
‘Based on the nature of the charges, no judge is going to let someone out.
His attorney said that since his arrest, his client is not ‘doing well.’ Hubert is scheduled to be arraigned in the Westborough courthouse Tuesday.
‘That’s why we agreed to it and will deal with it when all the charges, all the facts come through.’
Hubert ‘adamantly denies these offenses. The girl was not in the car. He did not throw her off a bridge,’ his attorney said.
Welsh said that since being arrested, his client is not ‘doing well.’
‘He’s a gentleman with no record, a great life, and has donated a lot of time to community and now he’s sitting in a jail cell with people he shouldn’t be with,’ Welsh said.
He added, ‘(Hubert) is ‘very concerned with the fact that the child was injured, but he doesn’t know what happened to her.
‘I’m hoping at some point we can get to the bottom of this and get this man back out and on with his life.’
He is scheduled to be arraigned in the Westborough courthouse Tuesday.