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May 17, 2018

Prosecutor wants additional penalties in police officer's death

As law enforcement officers prepared to gather with their friends and families at the East Kentucky Expo Center on Tuesday, Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley was preparing his office to file to seek the death penalty against the man charged with the killing of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton in March.

Accused killer John Russel Hall, 55, of Hurricane Branch, Pikeville, left and slain Pikeville Police Officer Scotty HamiltonAccused killer John Russel Hall, 55, of Hurricane Branch, Pikeville, left and slain Pikeville Police Officer Scotty HamiltonBartley took to the stage during Tuesday’s National Peace Officers Memorial Day event to announce that motion has now been filed in Pike Circuit Court, notifying the defense team of John Russel Hall, 55, of Hurricane Branch, Pikeville, that the Commonwealth would seek additional penalties in the case, including, but not limited to, the death penalty.

“We have to file a notice of intent, and a notice of aggravating factors,” Bartley said. “I have talked to Chelsi (Hamilton, Scotty’s widow) about it. We will be seeking all additional penalties including life with the possibility of parole after 25 years, life without the possibility of parole and death.”

Hall is being represented by public advocates Kim Green, of the Capital Trial Branch of the Office of Public Advocacy, and Brian Hewlett. Hall was indicted on one count of capital murder, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count receiving stolen property and for being a persistent felony offender in the first degree in connection to the shooting of Officer Hamilton on the night of March 13.

Hall is being held in custody without bond in Carter County.

“If there are certain aggravating factors, then increased penalties are available, if the jury believes those aggravated factors,” Bartley said.

Bartley’s filing cited the aggravating factors as being; the killing of Hamilton was intentional and Hamilton was a police officer engaged in the lawful performance of his duties.

“The decision was not made lightly because it is the ultimate penalty allowed by law,” Bartley said. “In reviewing the evidence and discussing the case with the detectives, I made the decision to seek those enhanced penalties.”

Hall’s next court hearing is scheduled for May 24 in Pike Circuit Court.

By Chase Ellis
Appalachian News-Express

Comments  

0 #3 Citizen 2018-05-19 20:04
Quoting What if:
Would you be for death penalty if your son killed a cop. He has a disease.


That is the problem they plead insanity and get off Free but what about this Police Officer's wife and kids and other family members? If we punish them for their crimes if they kill someone like this NOT a Accident then Life for Life and I think a thief should lose a hand and it can go on and on. That is why You do Not hear a lot like we have in other countries that punishes like this. This Criminal knows what He done and was Well Aware of What he done he ran did he not!
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-2 #2 What if 2018-05-17 23:53
Would you be for death penalty if your son killed a cop. He has a disease.
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+2 #1 Citizen 2018-05-17 23:22
This should not even have to be thought about it should be automatic even to the other ones involved to
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