A July 19 arraignment has been scheduled in U.S. District Court in London at 1:30 p.m. for a Corbin man, who was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges related to an alleged murder-for-hire scheme where two of the would-be victims were Whitley County prosecutors.
The grand jury charged William Timothy Sutton, 54, with four counts of using the mail or a facility of interstate commerce with the intent that four individuals be murdered in exchange for a promise and agreement to pay another to commit the murders, according to a press release by the United States Department of Justice Friday.
This was following an investigation by Kentucky State Police and the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
Sutton’s federal indictment identifies the victims only by their initials, which are A.T., B.H., T.S. and S.B.
According to a motion filed in Sutton’s federal case, the Timothy William Sutton, who was indicted in federal court, is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center.
The detention center’s website indicates that the only William Timothy Sutton incarcerated there is the same William Timothy Sutton, who was arrested by KSP Trooper David Lassiter on March 9 on 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.
Lassiter testified during an April 3 preliminary hearing in Whitley District Court that his investigation revealed that Sutton, who has been housed in the Whitley County Detention Center since Aug. 22, tried to hire another inmate in his cell, John Combs, to kill Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble, Whitley County Attorney Bob Hammons, Tara Smith and Stephanie Broyles.
Lassiter said that Hammons and Trimble’s occupations were discussed.
Lassiter testified that Combs wore a recording device and recorded two conversations with Sutton on different dates that “outlined the plan and who the intended victims were.”
Broyles is the complaining witness in a violation of an E.P.O. case against Sutton. The case was tried in January in district court and ended with a hung jury. It is scheduled for a retrial on July 19 at 9 a.m.
Smith is involved in a child support case involving Sutton.
Lassiter said that Sutton allegedly offered Combs $10,000 per person, or a total of $40,000, to kill the four individuals, and that he was willing to supply the firearm.
In addition, Sutton accurately described things about each intended victims, and gave directions to each intended victim.
Among other things, Sutton gave Combs a description of one intended victim’s home and a partial tag number of another victim’s license plate, Lassiter said. Three of the four descriptions were accurate.
Sutton also sent out a letter to a family member facilitating the arrangement of a firearm to be used in the killings, Lassiter testified.
“He told me when he sent the letter that he meant to have all four killed,” Lassiter testified.
Police took possession of both the letter, and the firearm, which was located at a Corbin area business, where Sutton’s letter stated that it would be found.
Lassiter said that Sutton used to work at the business, and he had family members that owned it.
Police found the gun in question in the back part of the building under some shelving units in a gun case.
Lassiter said there were multiple guns in multiple cases.
According to Sutton’s federal indictment, from May 2016 until on or about March 2017 (the exact dates were unknown), that Sutton allegedly knowingly possessed several firearms, including a .308 rifle, an SKS 7.62 x 39 caliber rifle, a Hi-Point .45 caliber rifle, a Bryco .22 caliber handgun, and 345 rounds of assorted ammunition.
Lassiter testified that he interviewed Sutton, who admitted to the allegations. Lassiter recorded the interview on audio and the jail has video of the interview.
Lassiter said that Sutton had “continually approached” Combs with the idea of murdering four individuals.
If convicted in U.S. District Court, Sutton faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years supervised release in the murder solicitation cases.
Sutton is also facing a fifth count in his indictment for a related charge of possessing the four firearms and ammunition after having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
He also faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment on that charge, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on that charge.
If it is determined that Sutton has three prior felony convictions for a violent felony or serious drug offense, then he could be facing not less that 15 years imprisonment and five years of supervised release on the firearms charge, according to his indictment.