Michael Burke McHugh, who is better known in local music circles as “Mike” the recording engineer and owner of The Distillery studio in Costa Mesa, is out of jail after cutting a plea deal for brandishing a BB gun at his daughter's high school.
The 45-year-old changed his plea from not guilty to guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon, had three other felonies and one misdemeanor count dropped and was sentenced to a year in jail.
But the judge gave McHugh credit for time served, and Orange County Jail records indicate he's been cut loose after being held in lieu of $100,000 bail since Feb. 15.
That same afternoon, a scary scene played out as Estancia High School was letting out for the day. Costa Mesa Police reported a man with a restraining order preventing him from contact with his daughter demanded that school staff bring her to him. And he said he had a gun.
But that being a time of recent school shootings around the country, school staff had been trained on how to respond. The principal and assistant principal tackled McHugh, who was held down until police arrived. It was later determined he had a replica handgun that fired BBs.
Besides assault with a deadly weapon, McHugh originally pleaded not guilty to felony criminal threats, threat of injury to a school official and possession of a weapon on school grounds as well as misdemeanor disobeying a court order.
As part of the plea agreement, he must complete a six-month residential drug-treatment program and serve five years of probation.
Black Lips, Mika Miko, Cheap Time, The Growlers and The Strange Boys are among the acts that have recorded at The Distillery, which is one of the few remaining analog-only studios in this digital age.