DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Kentucky

For Immediate Release

Friday, February 2, 2018
Robert M. Duncan, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: W. Allen Love

Corbin Man Found Guilty of Devising Murder-for-Hire Scheme

LONDON, Ky. — William Timothy Sutton, 55, of Corbin, Ky., has been convicted of four counts of interstate murder-for-hire and one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon.  The verdict came yesterday, following six days of trial, which included testimony from all four intended victims of the scheme.  The jury deliberated for less than two hours in reaching its verdict.

The evidence at trial established that, in March of 2017, while incarcerated in the Whitley County Detention Center, Sutton offered to pay a fellow inmate forty thousand dollars ($40,000) to murder the Whitley County Attorney, the Whitley/McCreary County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and two ex-girlfriends. The evidence further established that Sutton mailed a letter to a relative from jail, asking the relative to provide the would-be hitman with one of Sutton’s own firearms to further the scheme.  Law enforcement became aware of the plan, interceded, and ultimately arrested Sutton.

  “The despicable conduct in this case not only victimized four individuals, but was a brazen attack upon the judicial process and the rule of law,” said Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  “Protecting the public from violence and ensuring the integrity of our system of justice are core principles of the Department of Justice and central priorities of our Office.  In our efforts to make our community safer, we will continue to confront and prosecute criminal conduct that undermines these principles.  I want to commend the work of our valued law enforcement partners, whose efforts made this prosecution possible.”

Sutton is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30, 2018. He faces up to ten years on each offense.  However, any sentence would be imposed only after the Court has considered the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable statutes.    

US Attorney Duncan; Stuart Lowrey, Special Agent In-Charge, ATF; and Commissioner Rick Sanders of the Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the jury’s verdict.

The ATF and the Kentucky State Police conducted the investigation preceding the indictment.  Assistant United States Attorney W. Samuel Dotson represented the United States.


Louisville Field Division