WSIP News 2-8-2016


Authorities Continue Search for a Missing Martin Co. Man

The search for a missing Martin Co man is now into its third month and still no sign of the man who's been missing since mid-December. According to the Martin Co Sheriff's Office, family members of William "Scottie" Fannin, 37 of Milo in Martin Co. say they last seen him on Dec 10 when he was seen around his home along Dick Fannin Lane. The search has been non-stop by family members and authorities. Search crews and search dogs have also been used in the search. Milo Lake was even drained because the dogs picked up a scent, but that search ended the same as all the others, with no sign of Fannin. This past weekend dozens of volunteers spent hours searching through woods and up and down the mountain sides of Martin Co, hoping to find any trace left from Fannin. This latest search also had some extra help, as members of Jodi Powers Search and Rescue from Western Kentucky, stepped in to assist.

Authorities believe foul play is involved. Scottie Fannin’s family has increased their reward money to $2,500 for any information that leads to his whereabouts. If anyone has any information to provide officials, you’re asked to contact the Martin County Sheriff's Office at (606) 298 – 2828

More Defendants Possible in Vote Buying Case in Magoffin Co.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed a response in the ongoing federal vote-buying case out of Magoffin Co. and the possibility of adding more defendants to the case. On November 19, 2015, a federal grand jury released an indictment of four Magoffin Co residents on vote-buying charges regarding the 2014 primary and general elections. Magoffin County Magistrate District #1 Gary “Rooster” Risner, along with Tami Jo Risner, Mason Daniels and Scottie Lyn McCarty, were each charged with paying and offering to pay for votes in an election, broken down into 17 counts of felony offenses. A jury trial for the four was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, 2016. All 17 charges carry the penalty of not more than 5 years prison, $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release, as well as a mandatory special assessment of $100 per count.

According to the Salyersville Independent Newspaper, on January 15, 2016 Tami Jo Risner’s attorney, Willis G. Coffey, motioned the Court to continue an upcoming pretrial conference and the jury trial for 45 days, stating that Risner is undergoing a pretrial psychiatric or psychological examination in Texas. On January 19, U.S District Judge Danny C. Reeves granted Tami Jo Risner’s motion to continue, stating that the pretrial conference (originally scheduled for January 28) and jury trial dates for all defendants in this case are continued generally, pending the receipt of the evaluation report regarding Risner’s competency. A hearing will be scheduled upon the Court’s receipt of the evaluation.

On Thursday, January 28, U.S. Attorney’s Office Kenneth Taylor submitted a response regarding trial dates, explaining that the speedy trial clock will run in mid-May and discusses possible weeks to hold the trial. For the court’s consideration, he further notes, “The United States now informs the Court that a superseding indictment, charging one or more additional defendants, may be forthcoming. In that event, the United States will seek an ‘ends of justice’ continuance as to all defendants under 18 on the basis that the law’s preference for a joint trial of all defendants, coupled with the fact that no defendant is detained, outweighs the public’s and the defendants’ right to a speedy trial.” The 2014 Magoffin Co General Election also included the Magoffin Co judge executive’s race, which remains up in the air. While the incumbent, Dr. Charles Hardin won the election by 28 votes against republican candidate John Montgomery. Montgomery filed an election contest suit in December 2014 against Hardin and the Magoffin Co Board of Elections and in February Circuit Judge John David Preston ruled to throw out the election results in the judge executive race and deemed the office vacant. In June a three-judge Court of Appeals panel agreed 2-to-1 with Preston’s ruling, and in August the same three judges in another 2-to-1 vote denied a petition for rehearing. In October Hardin’s attorney filed a motion for review with the Kentucky Supreme Court, and the case is still pending. Hardin is allowed to hold the office during the appeals process.  

Man Wanted for Hit and Run in Magoffin Co.

Local law enforcement are currently searching for a Magoffin Co man wanted for an alleged hit and run. According to the Magoffin Co Sheriff’s Dept., on Friday, January 29 at 4 PM, deputies were called to the area of Connelley Farm, after they received reports that John R. “JR” Allen and Tim May were reportedly in an altercation in the parking lot at the vet clinic on Kentucky Rt. 30. Reports indicate that Allen allegedly hit May, who was standing outside of his vehicle, with his truck, in an act that is believed to have been intentional.

May was flown out to Pikeville Medical Center, then later transported to University of Kentucky Medical Center. Due to the seriousness of his medical condition, law enforcement have not been able to get a statement from May. Though Allen has not been located since the incident, Magoffin Co. Sheriff Carson Montgomery said they have found his truck in Breathitt Co. The truck has been impounded and they plan to take it to the crime lab, where they hope to gather enough evidence to determine what exactly happened in that parking lot. Warrants have been issued against John R. “JR” Allen for first degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid, though Sheriff Montgomery said he expects more charges to be filed. Montgomery asks that if anyone sees Allen, he or she should call the sheriff’s office at 606-349-2914, or after hours call 911.

Ashland Couple Pleads Not Guilty in Son's Death

An Ashland couple has pleaded not guilty to killing their 3-month-old son. According to The Ashland Independent, 27-year-old Leslie Daniels and 28-year-old Nora Sawyers appeared in Boyd Co Circuit Court on Friday and they both pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the death of their son, Landen Daniels. They are both being held in jail on $100,000 bond. Ashland Police Department has said the child died due to blunt force trauma consistent with shaken baby syndrome. Reports indicate the baby was bleeding in the brain and had a detached retina. The child was taken to a hospital after he was found unresponsive on June 10 and died three days later on June 13.

Authorities Continue Search for an Ashland Man Wanted on Rape and Other Charges.

The US Marshals Service and Police in Ashland are continuing their search for a man wanted in connection with a rape and sodomy case. Investigators say Brandon Tyler Scites, 25, of Ashland, is wanted for rape, sodomy, unlawful transaction with a minor and a parole violation. Last month, Scites allegedly had sexual intercourse with a teenage girl, who was mentally capacitated due to being high on marijuana. The US Marshals say Scites should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. They believe he could be in the Kitts Hill, Ohio area. The Ashland Police Department is offering a $1000 cash reward for direct information from the public that leads to the apprehension/arrest of Brandon Tyler Scites.

On Monday evening, the US Marshals say an individual using the name Brandon Scites, as well as pictures of Brandon Scites, posted on Facebook that he would shoot it out or kill law enforcement. Investigators say known associates and family members of Scites were commenting on the post. If you have seen Scites, contact the US Marshals at 859-361-5647.

19 Confirmed Cases of Salmonella in Estill Co

Estill County Emergency Management says there are 19 confirmed salmonella cases and 41 people with gastrointestinal illnesses in the county. In a Facebook post, Estill County Emergency Management says the health department is investigating the salmonella outbreak, which began at the beginning of the year, and is still trying to find the cause. Six people have been hospitalized with the infection. All of them are expected to make a full recovery.

Gov. Bevin wants to Downsize Scope of Kentucky Wired Project

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin wants to downsize a proposed 3,400-mile fiber optic network meant to make high-speed Internet possible throughout the state. Bevin told the Saving Our Appalachian Region meeting Friday the project is off track. He said he still supports installing the network in eastern Kentucky. A group of private businesses borrowed $289 million last year to begin constructing the network. Kentucky government officials promised to pay the companies about $28 million a year for Internet service, which the companies would then use to pay off the loan. But a key piece of how Kentucky planned to pay back the loan has fallen apart. Bevin said Friday he wants to try and renegotiate with Macquarie Capital, the Australian-based investment company that is leading the project.