Local News Thursday August 15, 2013


Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright followed a jury’s recommendation in sentencing a Jenkins woman to a 20-year prison term for stealing checks from a 92-year-old veteran.

During a four-day trial held last week, a Letcher Circuit Court jury found 42 year old Mary Ruth Morris guilty of taking $14,650 from Warren Hopkins, of Wise, Va., by writing 48 checks over an eight-month period.

Morris had helped her motherin law clean Hopkins’s home for about a year and a half. The crimes were committed in March, June, August, September, October, November, and December of 2012 and in January of 2013.

Morris had previously pleaded guilty to taking $2,560 from Cato’s of Whitesburg. She created and submitted fictitious customer return slips for which she authorized cash refunds from August through December 2010 when she was manager of the store.

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A Jenkins woman recently pleaded guilty to her involvement in the 2011 shooting death of an Atlanta man.

31 year old Angela Renee Mays has been sentenced to a maximum term of 10 years in prison for her role in the murder of 39-year-old Walter Johnson Jr. inside the double-wide mobile home in Jenkins where Mays was living on March 24, 2011.

Mays pleaded guilty on June 26 in Letcher Circuit Court to an amended charge of criminal facilitation to murder, complicity to first-degree robbery and complicity to tampering with physical evidence.

43 year old Alfred White of Jonesboro, Ga., was charged with murder shortly after the shooting.

Indictments charged White, Mays and Tom Edward Blair of Jenkins in the case.

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A Perry County man has been charged with possession of forged checks.

David Begley was arrested last week after Sheriff Deputies say he was trying to purchase items from Manufacturer's Supply Store by using those checks.

Police  also say Begley is suspected in defrauding businesses in excess of $10,000 just in Perry County, but is wanted in other counties for doing the same thing.

A grand jury will hear the case in September.

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Kentucky State Police say they believe they have found a possible motive in the Bell County shootings.

Police think a troubled relationship could have led to a double murder-suicide involving a former Knox County Judge Executive on Tuesday.

Michael Smith, his son Dustin Smith were killed by former County Judge Executive Raymond Smith, who then committed suicide.

Robin Smith was also shot but is out of surgery and in stable condition in a private room at UT Hospital in Knoxville.

21 year old Robin Smith says she had a personal relationship with the 51 year old former Knox County Judge-Executive but says she ended about a month ago.

Funeral arrangements are now set for Michael and Dustin Smith.

Joint funerals will be held Friday at 2:00pm at Creech Funeral Home in Middlesboro.

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A volunteer fire department in Martin County is now crippled after thieves broke in and stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

It happened earlier this week at the Pigeon Roost Volunteer Fire Department, and officials say because of the theft the trucks cannot be driven because they were stripped of wiring and that means they cannot respond to  emergencies.

The thieves also took hoses, clamps, oil, even gas for the trucks.

Sheriff Garmon Preece is investigating.

For now Warfield and Inez Fire Departments to helping respond to emergencies.

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Monday evening's flooding in Floyd County left just under a foot of water and mud at McDowell Elementary.

A massive cleanup effort has been underway since and the principal says they passed a health inspection yesterday.

McDowell Elementary will be back open today.