- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) A candidate for sheriff was charged yesterday in the slaying of the incumbent, who was gunned down by a sniper at a weekend campaign stop.
Jeff Morris, 34, was being held on a charge of complicity to murder, jail authorities said. He was booked along with Kenneth White, 54, who was arrested on the same charge.
The two men are accused of being involved in the slaying of Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron, 48. Prosecutors and state police did not immediately comment on the charges or describe Mr. White's background.
Sheriff Catron was shot in the head shortly after he finished a campaign speech at a fish fry and political rally Saturday in Shopville, 70 miles south of Lexington. He was running for a fifth term and faced Mr. Morris and others in a May 28 primary.
The man charged with shooting the sheriff Danny Shelley, 30 was caught after wrecking a motorcycle registered to Mr. Morris. Mr. Shelley pleaded not guilty to capital murder earlier yesterday.
Jim McWhorter, the chief deputy sworn in as sheriff, has said Mr. Morris was a deputy under Sheriff Catron from 1996 to July 2001. Sheriff McWhorter wouldn't comment on Mr. Morris' reason for leaving the sheriff's office, but he said he knew of no ill will between Sheriff Catron and Mr. Morris.
Sheriff Catron had been the sheriff of the sparsely populated south-central Kentucky county since 1985. He was known for piloting a helicopter to search for marijuana plots and patrolling the streets into the wee hours.
He usually wore a bulletproof vest because his father, then-Somerset Police Chief Harold Catron, was shot and wounded in 1957. The younger Catron was wearing the vest Saturday.
Coroner Alan Stringer said the bullet hit Sheriff Catron in the head and killed him instantly. The shot came from a considerable distance.
Under Kentucky law, shooting a police officer in the line of duty is a capital offense. Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy Montgomery said Sheriff Catron was in uniform when he was shot.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide