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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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June 11, 2018

Questions arise as to whether Dotson should have even been allowed to operate the equipment

 Dist. 5 Pike magistrate Hillman DotsonDist. 5 Pike magistrate Hillman Dotson

A workers’ compensation report and a liability loss notice were filed recently after Dist. 5 Magistrate Hilman Dotson wrecked a county riding lawn mower while cutting grass at the Hatfield-McCoy Park at McCarr.

The incident brings up questions as to whether Dotson should have even been allowed to operate the equipment. A 1978 ruling by the Kentucky Attorney General indicates the answer to the question is “No.” The ruling states that “magistrates have practically no function as individuals outside of fiscal court meetings.”

According to the workers’ compensation report filled out after the incident, Dotson was “mowing grass when the mower spun its tires and went over a hill” on Tuesday, May 29. The report states that Dotson suffered from injuries to his back and ribs.

“I just had a lawnmower accident. I was mowing grass over there at the Hatfield-McCoy Park … the grass was wet and (the mower) spun out with me and I went over an embankment,” Dotson said earlier this week.

Dotson said that, although the park has an employee who usually maintains the grass, it had not been cut. He said it wasn’t the first time he has cut that grass over the course of the last 25 years.


{Dotson said Tuesday that he is feeling better and was “in good shape,” and he just had a few scratches and bangs.}


When asked if he, acting in a magistrate capacity, was permitted to use county equipment, Dotson said, “If we can’t cut grass and take care of our parks and look after our seniors and our kids, then what good are we?”

Dotson went on to say that he is paid and elected by the people to serve them. He asked “what’s wrong with me cutting grass?” He said there have been opinions from the county attorney that allow the magistrates to “go out and check on things.”

He also said workers’ compensation would cover his expenses.

Pike County Deputy Judge-Executive Herbie Deskins said he doesn’t believe Dotson would qualify for any money from workers’ compensation because of Dotson’s salary.

“There’s a question there as to whether he is covered by workers’ compensation or not,” said Deskins.

By Josh Little
Appalachian News-Express


June 8, 2018

 Paintsville warns clerks of fake money from internetPaintsville warns clerks of fake money from internet

Johnson County has faced an unusually high number of counterfeit money cases in recent years, and Paintsville Police Chief Mike Roe said clerks in Eastern Kentucky need to be vigilant.

Roe said in cases PPD has investigated, the money is being purchased online from websites that sell it for use in movies and TV shows. The cash is typically fairly realistic, but will typically say it is only for “motion picture purposes.” Some bills, Roe said, even have noticeable writing on them in Japanese or Chinese.

One way these individuals are more successfully passing the fake movie money off is by bundling it in amongst real money.

“It’s even harder to notice if it’s just one of three $20 bills,” Roe said.

Other individuals have approached law enforcement after receiving the money in change after it was unknowingly accepted from a customer.

Anyone caught trying to pass off the fake money, however, will face very real punishment.

“The charge is typically criminal possession of a forged instrument, a Class D felony, one to five years (in prison),” Roe said.

Those who believe they may be dealing with someone passing off such counterfeit money is urged to get information about the suspected perpetrator, or at least a clear description if possible, and contact the Paintsville Police Department at, (606) 789-2603 or the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at, (606) 789-3411.

By Aaron K. Nelson
The Paintsville Herald

June 8, 2018


PRESTONSBURG — Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley said “one nightmare punch” killed an inmate at the Floyd County Detention Center on Tuesday. 

Scotty L. Gibson Jr., 23, of Prestonsburg, is facing a first-degree murder charge for the Tuesday death of Adam Potter, 29, of Prestonsburg. 

First responders were called to the jail at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, following reports of an inmate who was unresponsive. Potter, who had been incarcerated for 32 days, was transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

SCOTTIE GIBSON SCOTTIE GIBSON Officials with the KSP Post 9 in Pikeville reported in a press release that they were informed at approximately 2 p.m. about an inmate at the detention center “being injured possibly from an altercation.” 

“The inmate had been transported to Highlands Regional Hospital, and was (pronounced) deceased a short time later,” the press release said.

Dispelling rumors about the cause of Potter’s death, Floyd County Jailer Stuart “Bear”

Halbert and Bartley emphasized that Potter did not die as a result of an extended fight at the jail. 

“There is one fact that I think the world should know, and that is that this was not any type of protracted argument, no protracted fight, anything like that,” Bartley said. “I have personally viewed video and that video shows that essentially there was one punch. One punch that landed, and, unfortunately, it was the nightmare punch that took this man’s life.” 

Bartley said Gibson attempted to strike Potter twice, but he only hit him once on the side of the head, causing him to fall. He would not disclose the specific cause of death issued in Potter’s preliminary autopsy results, but he noted that those results are consistent with what he saw on video. 

“It is the nightmare punch. One punch took a man’s life,” he said. “And that doesn’t make it any less worse than if he give him five punches. But people should know that their lives can change in a snap of a finger, in an instant. In this case, it took the life of one man, destroyed the life of another with one single punch.

“For those out there who appear to think that this was some extended struggle or something, they need to know that’s just not so, and they do need to know that jail staff responded swiftly and appropriately, and made all the right efforts to try to save this boy’s life,” Bartley said. 

He said the jail staff and its medical personnel “responded within seconds” of being informed by inmates that there was a problem. 

He said Potter exhibited “signs of life” prior to his transport to the hospital and “there were efforts to save his life,” but it was not possible. 

Halbert commended his staff for their quick response to the incident, calling it a “bad situation overall for everybody.” 

Bartley said his office has worked alongside the Kentucky State Police, Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner, the coroner’s office and the state’s medical examiner’s office in this investigation. Bartley expects the case to be presented to the grand jury soon. 

Gibson is incarcerated at the Pike County Detention Center where he was taken on June 6 for safety reasons and to prevent any issues with the investigation, which continues under the direction of KSP Det. Jason Dials.

By Mary Meadows
Floyd County Chronicle and Times