A Corbin man has been charged with attempting to arrange the murder of four individuals, including two Whitley County court officials, while awaiting his day in court on an unrelated charge.
Kentucky State Police have charged 54-year-old William T. Sutton with four counts of complicity to commit murder, four counts of retaliating against a participant in a legal process and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Trooper Lloyd Cochran, public affairs officer at Post 11 in London, said the charges came about following a two-week investigation by Trooper David Lassiter.
Lassiter began the investigation after he received information that Sutton, who was being held in the detention center for violation of a Kentucky EPO/DVO, was conspiring to have the individuals murdered.
According to the arrest citation, the four individuals are involved in the ongoing legal proceedings against him. Two of them are elected officials in the Whitley County court system.
Whitley County Jailer Brian Lawson said investigators have recorded conversations of Sutton attempting to hire someone to kill the individuals.
According to officials at the Whitley County Court Clerk’s office, Sutton had been in the detention center since Aug. 22.
Cochran said police are not releasing the names of the four individuals.
“We don’t want to damage the integrity of the investigation,” Cochran said.
“It is one of these awkward cases where I can’t say a whole lot,” he added.
Sutton is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Monday in Whitley District Court. Bond on the new charges has been set at $50,000 cash.
Lassiter is continuing the investigation.
Sutton has an extensive criminal history involving similar charges.
On Aug. 17, Sutton was arrested on charges of intimidating a participant in the legal process, third-degree terroristic threatening and menacing.
That case was dismissed by order of the court on Nov. 21.
On Aug. 5, Sutton was charged with third-degree terroristic threatening. A mistrial was declared in the case on Jan. 18. No new trial date has been scheduled.
On July 3, 2015, Sutton was charged with third-degree terroristic threatening. On March 15, 2016, Sutton pleaded guilty in return for a sentence of 12 months in jail, conditionally discharged for 12 months provided he have no further legal issues. In addition, Sutton was ordered to have no contact with Tara Smith, the complaining witness.
Whitley County Constable Ron “Bubba” Bowling is listed as the arresting officer in several of Sutton’s previous cases.
Bowling declined to comment about the current case, or any of the previous cases, but said he feels sorry for Sutton’s mother and brother because how this may affect them.
“The family has absolutely nothing to do with this guy’s actions,” Bowling said. They too have become victims.”