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Somerset County Man Returns Home

We have the latest now on a Somerset County man that was facing more than a decade in prison outside the country. He is now back home after being held for more than three months. We sat down and talked with him and his wife about going through the experience and what it’s like to be back home.

Turks and Caicos is a group of islands close to the Dominican Republic. Bryan Hagerich saying it was: “By far the darkest time of my life.” That’s how Bryan Hagerich describes the 101 days he was not able to leave Turks and Caicos. After a family vacation, the Hagerich’s were at the airport to leave the islands and Bryan says he was told he was selected for a random bag check. There was hunting ammunition found in the bag that Hagerich says was mistakenly left there from a prior trip. Hagerich saying: “I was more concerned at that point, am I going to potentially miss our flight?”

Bryan and his wife Ashley both quickly being told he would miss that flight. Ashley saying: “At that point I was under the assumption that Bryan would be on the next flight home and she very quickly made me aware that that was not the case.” Laws in Turks and Caicos involving ammunition had Bryan facing a potential 12 years in prison.

Bryan says he was taken into custody and spent that night in jail. He was eventually released, but could not leave the island before his sentencing. Ashley saying: “Some days we were certainly more hopeful than others and some days we were not so hopeful and were really expecting the worst, so everyday just brought a different emotion.” Bryan adding: “When it really hit home for me was when I prepared what we called the doomsday list which was probably ten pages of everything just to try to keep things in order at home and as I sat down and started to type that list I’m just thinking ‘Oh my goodness, if this is reality, I don’t know how any of us could’ve emotionally, physically done it.”

That sentencing bringing the news the Hagerich’s had hoped for. He was given a fine and a suspended sentence and he and Ashley flew home that night. Bryan saying: “As soon as we started to climb those steps up to the airplane I could slowly start to just feel the weight of the world had just been lifted off my shoulders.” It’s been about a week since Hagerich returned home. Bryan adding: “It’s hard adjusting to life as we knew it just because the last 101 days were truly a fight for my life.”

Ashley Hagerich saying: “it’s scary how one small mistake can really impact the rest of your life.” Bryan tells us he can’t wait to make up for the moments he’s missed, including getting back to being the Baseball Coach for both of his kids and coaching a game less than 12 hours after returning home. Ashley saying: “I can’t think of a better way for you to spend the first moments home.” Bryan replying: “No, I mean it was at the baseball field.”

A getaway to a beautiful island turning into a new appreciation for home. Reporter: “What’s it like to be in Somerset, Bryan?” Bryan, in reply: “It’s the best feeling in the world, honestly.”

Bryan and Ashley Hagerich tell us that while they’re trying to return to normal, a new outlook on life is also coming from this situation.

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