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UPDATE: Man charged with killing Pikeville Police officer could face death penalty

(WSAZ)
Published: Mar. 14, 2018 at 3:05 AM EDT
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UPDATE 5/15/18 @ 10:50 p.m.

A man accused of murdering a police officer may face the death penalty.

Commonwealth attorney Rick Bartley announced Tuesday that he's seeking the death penalty against John Hall, the man charged with the murder of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

Police say Hall shot Hamilton in the Hurricane Creek community of Pike County in March.

Hall spent about 36 hours on the run before police found him at a home on the Pike/ Floyd county line.

A pre-trial conference is set for May 24.


UPDATE 3/16/18

More people are facing charges in connection to the death of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

Two other individuals, Amanda S. Dotson, and Jeanne Blackburn were arrested for Hindering Prosecution or Apprehension 1st degree making a total of four. Both Dotson and Blackburn were taken to the Pike County Detention Center.

Both Blackburn and Dotson were transported before Greg Slone and Michael Slone.


UPDATE 3/16/18 @ 6:05 p.m.

Two additional people are facing charges in connection to the death of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

On Friday, Kentucky State Police announced that Greg Slone and Michael Slone, from the Betsy Layne area, were charged with Hindering Prosecution or Apprehension in the first degree.

The details of the charges have not been released.

John Russell Hall, 55, is charged with murder of a police officer and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. He waived his formal arraignment on Friday.

Hamilton was fatally shot during an incident late Tuesday night in the Hurricane Creek area.

Hall was captured Thursday in the Betsy Layne area near the Floyd/Pike county line. His next court hearing is set for 1 p.m. March 22.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 3/16/18 @ 2:05 p.m.

The man accused of fatally shooting Pikeville Police Officer Scott Hamilton pleaded not guilty Friday, our crew at the scene reports.

John Russell Hall, 55, is charged with murder of a police officer and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. He waived his formal arraignment on Friday.

Hamilton was fatally shot during an incident late Tuesday night in the Hurricane Creek area.

Hall was captured Thursday in the Betsy Layne area near the Floyd/Pike county line. His next court hearing is set for 1 p.m. March 22.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/16/18 @ 7:20 a.m.

John Russell Hall, 55, will be arraigned on Friday after being charged with the murder of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

According to Kentucky State Police, Hall has now been charged with murder of a police officer and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Hall was originally wanted for questioning. Trooper Michael Murriell says during that long process, police were able to pursue more leads that finally led them to the murder charge.

There were two other men transported to KSP Post 9 as a part of the investigation. Murriell says they are looking into whether or not the men may have had any involvement in the crime. He would not say if they are being charged at this time.

"This is a tragic situation that, at the end of the day, there's not a good outcome," Murriell said. "It's something that, we are glad that charges have been filed but it's just a bad situation from every aspect."

Hall has been transported to the Pike County Detention Center. He was arrested after a nearly 36 hour manhunt. KSP searched by drone, helicopter, on foot and with the help of tips.

Hall was arrested without incident in the Stoney Brook area in the Betsy Layne community of Floyd County. Police did not say how long Hall could have been in the area where he was found.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest on this developing story.


UPDATE 3/15/18 @ 8:56 p.m.

John Russell Hall, 55, has been charged with the murder of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

According to Kentucky State Police, Hall has now been charged with murder of a police officer and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

He has been transported to the Pike County Detention Center.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and wsaz.com for the latest on this developing story.


UPDATE 3/15/18 @ 11:55 p.m.

John Russell Hall, the person of interest in the shooting death of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton, has been arrested, Kentucky State Police say.

He was taken into custody around 11 a.m. Thursday in the Betsy Layne area. That is near the Floyd/Pike county line.

Troopers say Hall was arrested without incident.

Officer Hamilton was shot to death late Tuesday night in the Hurricane Creek area of Pikeville.

We have a crew at the scene.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/15/18 @ 7:20 a.m.

Kentucky State Police are looking for a man they want to question in connection with Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton's murder.

Police are looking for 55-year-old John Russell Hall as a person of interest. He is also wanted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He is from Hurricane Road in Pikeville, which is where the shooting took place late Tuesday night. Hall is considered armed and dangerous.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/14/18 @ 1:55 p.m.

Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton's body was returned to town Wednesday afternoon during an emotional procession for the town and his fellow officers.

Hamilton, a 12-year veteran of the department, was fatally shot during an incident late Tuesday night in the Hurricane Creek area. He leaves behind a wife and small child.

Meanwhile, the search remains underway for the shooting suspect.

"It’s not an easy thing to sit here and do, especially seeing that procession," Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Jody Sims said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "The prayers (from the community and on social media) -- those go a long way with lifting spirits."

Hamilton was investigating the scene late Tuesday night with KSP Trooper Matt Martin just before he was shot. The pair was conducting a criminal patrol on Hurricane Creek when they encountered suspicious vehicle.

Sims said it was in an area of known drug-trafficking incidents, and the officers were there maintaining a presence. He said as many as four people were arrested in that area on warrants, but it is not believed they were directly involved with the shooting.

According to KSP, Hamilton and Martin separated during the search, and Hamilton went up an embankment. Shortly afterward, Martin heard gunshots fired nearby a home. He found Hamilton, who had been fatally shot. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Pike County Coroner’s Office.

Sims said Hamilton suffered at least one gunshot wound to the head. As many as three gunshots were heard. No firearm was located at the scene.

Pikeville Police and KSP troopers continue looking for the shooting suspect. They have been using critical response teams in that search, including a helicopter.

Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil in Hamilton's memory is scheduled at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 15 at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center Billy Johnson Stage.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/14/18 @ 8:30 a.m.

Kentucky State Police are searching for a second person in connection with the shooting death of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

Troopers tell us they are using drones to search for that second person.

Critical incident response teams are also coming to assist with the investigation.

One person is already in custody in connection with the shooting.

The names of the person in custody and the person troopers are searching for have not been released.

Officer Hamilton is a 12-year veteran of the department and leaves behind a wife and small child.

He was shot and killed while responding to a call in the Hurricane Creek area with a Kentucky State Police trooper.

Hurricane Creek Road is still closed as the search continues for the second person involved in the shooting.


UPDATE 3/14/18 @ 7:23 a.m.

Kentucky State Police is confirming that one person is in custody in the shooting death of a Pikeville Police officer.

Officer Scotty Hamilton was killed in the line of duty.

The identity of the person arrested hasn't been released.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/14/18 @ 7:05 a.m..

Additional information is now being released in the death of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton.

Officer Hamilton and a Kentucky State Police trooper were investigating a crime in the Hurricane Creek area.

He was shot and killed in this area.

Authorities aren't yet releasing any word about suspects or arrests.

Officer Hamilton leaves behind a wife and an infant child.

Flags are already at half-staff and people are bringing food to the police department to honor Officer Hamilton's memory.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 3/14/18 @ 3:57 a.m.

A Pikeville Police Department officer shot and killed late Tuesday night has been identified.

Scotty Hamilton, a 12-year veteran of the Pikeville Police Department, died in the line of duty in a shooting late Tuesday night.

Kentucky State Police are investigating Officer Hamilton's murder.

KSP and Pikeville PD are asking for anyone with any information about the crime to contact them.

There's no word on any suspects or arrests in the incident.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


ORIGINAL STORY 3/14/18 @ 3:12 a.m.

A Pikeville city police officer is dead after a shooting.

Pikeville Police tell sister station WYMT the shooting happened late Tuesday evening.

A WSAZ crew is headed to the scene.

Keep clicking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.