Friday September 6, 2013

A Letcher County woman died of smoke inhalation after her home caught fire early Thursday morning.

66 year old Bettie Jo Fields of Sergent, was pronounced dead at 7:48 a.m. yesterday morning by Letcher County Coroner Marty Baker.

Her body was found after a neighbor leaving for work saw the fire and called 9-1-1 around 7:00am.

Baker said Fields, who lived alone, had been sleeping in the bedroom of her single wide Trailer located near the Thornton Cemetery.

The bedroom was not consumed by the fire.

Baker said blood tests will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Kentucky State Police dispatched an arson investigator to the scene of the fire, which Mayking Fire Chief Tony Fugate says is typical when a fire involves a death.

No foul play is suspected.

Funeral services for Bettie Jo Fields will be held at 2:00pm Saturday at Letcher Funeral Home.


A former Clay County magistrate and two business owners whose convictions in a vote-buying case were overturned last summer have pleaded guilty in a deal that calls for reduced sentences.

The Lexington Herald-Leader said former magistrate Stanley Bowling; and garbage hauling business owners Bart Morris and his wife, Debra, entered the pleas Thursday in federal court in Lexington.

They were convicted in 2010 with five others but released from federal prison after the convictions were overturned.

Under the plea deals, Bart Morris, who was sentenced to 20 years, will be given 5 years, while Bowling's sentence will drop from 15 years and 10 months to 5 years.

Debra Morris was originally sentenced to 10 years. She would not have to return to prison under the new deal.


State auditors referred the Bell County Clerk's 2011 audit to several other agencies for investigation.

State auditors questioned reports and money on the vehicle transactions and payments.

Auditors also claimed the records were not adequate.

The audit includes responses from Bell County Clerk Becky Blevins who claimed the office does have the proper records required by Kentucky law.

State auditors referred the audit to the Attorney General, Kentucky Department of Revenue, Kentucky Department of Transportation, and the Bell County Attorney.


A Floyd County man will spend two decades behind bars after he admitted to causing a crash that killed two people.

Officials say James Slone caused a crash that killed his passenger, 43-year-old Karen Mitchell and the driver of the other vehicle, 36-year-old Jeffery Hamilton, in June of 2011.

Slone pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of manslaughter, assault and driving under the influence.

Thursday a judge formally sentenced him to 20 years in prison.


Also a man involved in a Floyd County wreck that killed a Breathitt County woman will spend 20 years in jail.

Officials say James Mace pleaded guilty Tuesday to first degree assault and second degree manslaughter.

The August 2012 crash killed 63 year old Brenda Montgomery.


Harlan City Police arrested two people accused of dealing drugs in a gas station parking lot.

Police say they received complaints last Friday of drugs in the Exxon parking lot.

Officers say they found a man and woman in a car with a bag full of pills.

Police arrested William Calton and Sarah Egan.

Police say they had 100 percocets and a large amount of cash.

They face several charges including drug possession and Calton has drug trafficking charges.


An eastern Kentucky man plummeted to the ground in a skydiving accident in Mississippi, and lived to talk about it.

However the journey since the crash in early August has been a hard one for 26-year-old David Meek of Paintsville.

He is finally back close to home in Kentucky and is currently in long term rehab at Cardinal Hill in Lexington.