Thursday October 24, 2013

One of three Letcher County residents charged with conspiring to steal more than $1 million worth of trucks and heavy equipment has pleaded guilty and will be sentenced next month in federal court in Pikeville.

61 year old Roger Tolliver of Deane, is scheduled to appear at a sentencing hearing on November 5, during which Tolliver will admit to his role in an interstate theft ring which brought stolen pickup trucks, dump trucks, trailers, and other equipment to Letcher County.

Tolliver was originally charged in March 2012 after the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department found some of the stolen equipment on Tolliver’s property at Deane and at a natural gas well site nearby on Rockhouse Mountain.

Also charged in the case are Henry Anthony Hall, 50, of Jenkins, and Sharlene Pierce, 41, of Neon. Neither Hall nor Pierce have entered pleas in the case.

The government will recommend that Tolliver be sentenced to not more than 15 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $135,598.

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The Letcher County Fiscal Court has asked County Attorney Jaime Hatton to explore the possibility of getting some type of an exemption from the new City of Whitesburg payroll tax for magistrates who do not spend most of their time in the city.

District Four Magistrate Keith Adams brought up the issue in the closing minutes of the fiscal court’s October meeting on Monday night.

Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward said that while he understands that employees at the courthouse and other county employees who work in the city limits are subject to the tax, he questions whether the magistrates should have to pay the entire tax when most of them work out of their homes or offices in their districts and are only in the city for meetings.

For a full rundown of the October Fiscal Court meeting see this week's Mountain Eagle.

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A Floyd County man is dead and police are calling it murder.

Police are keeping quiet about the details but did tell us 52-year-old Timothy Austin was found dead in his home on Hibiscus Court Tuesday afternoon.

Neighbors say Austin was new to the neighborhood living in an apartment above a store called the Bargain Basement.

The Floyd County Coroner says Austin was pronounced dead around 12:15pm Tuesday afternoon.

Officials are not releasing his cause of death.

The coroner says Austin's body was taken to Frankfort for an autopsy.

Anyone with information should contact Kentucky State Police.

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The search continues for an escaped inmate in Breathitt County.

Police say 31-year old Brandon Nipper managed to escape from the Breathitt County Jailer one week ago.

Nipper had just been picked up on a receiving stolen property charge when officials say he made a run for it.

If you know where he is, you should call the Jackson Police Department at 606-666-2424.

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Some Sheriffs from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia are planning to speak at a "Stand in the Gap" event this Saturday.

Eleven Sheriffs from the three border states are part of a panel to discuss the drug problem, what new drugs are surfacing, and what can be done to help stop the drug problem.

The event is called, "Illicit Drug Activity, Alcohol Related Problems, and Associated Family Violence."

The Sheriffs attending will have an opportunity to address the issues in their county.

The meeting is open to the public.

It starts at 10:00am on Saturday in Stand in the Gap headquarters in the old church building in Cumberland Gap, Tennessee.