Bay St. Louis man gets 40 years for kidnapping family - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bay St. Louis man gets 40 years for kidnapping family

Peter Dougherty, Jr. (Photo source: Hancock County Sheriff's Dept.) Peter Dougherty, Jr. (Photo source: Hancock County Sheriff's Dept.)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A Bay St. Louis man who held six people hostage was sentenced to 40 years in prison this week, although he'll only spend half that time behind bars. 

Peter Joseph Dougherty, Jr., 33, pleaded guilty to six counts of kidnapping for holding his estranged wife, in-laws, and 13-month-old son at gunpoint inside a home in the Kiln in November 2014. Two other people were in the house when the incident began, but Dougherty released them early on.

"Dougherty violated a domestic restraining order when he entered and hid in the garage of the family’s house during the early morning hours until he was discovered in the garage by one of the juveniles later that morning," said ADA Chris Daniel, who prosecuted the case. "During the investigation, investigators recovered a bag containing tape, rope, twine, cable, locks, and additional pistol magazines in the garage. Also, Dougherty’s vehicle was found nearby in the woods off Cuevas Town Road."

After a three hour standoff, Dougherty finally released his wife and child after being talked down by a negotiator. He surrendered to authorities without incident, and no one was injured. 

"The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office responded very quickly and ended a dangerous incident that threatened the lives of this family," District Attorney Joel Smith said. "Domestic violence cannot be tolerated in our community, and our office is committed to holding these violent offenders accountable."

Dougherty is a first time offender. Circuit Judge Roger T. Clark sentenced him to a total of 40 years, suspending 20 years. That means Dougherty will serve 20 years in prison and have five years of probation after his release.

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