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September 26, 2012

Final suspects in bribery scam are sentenced

Group tried to sway Commonwealth's Attorney

Somerset — Two Somerset residents who were arrested in 2010 along with three others for their roles in a plan to pay a local prosecutor in hopes of springing a loved one from jail were sentenced this week.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced that Darmus "Bubby" Dalton, 46, and Virginia "Carol" Hampton, 45, both entered pleas Wednesday in Pulaski Circuit Court in connection with a scheme to bribe Pulaski County Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery.

According to Conway’s office, Dalton pleaded guilty to one count of complicity to bribery of a public servant, a Class C felony, and to a charge of being a persistent felony offender.

Hampton entered an Alford Plea to one count of facilitation to bribery of a public servant, a misdemeanor.  (A defendant may enter an Alford Plea when he or she wishes to maintain innocence against the charges, while admitting there is enough evidence to bring about a conviction in a jury trial.)

Hampton and Dalton were arrested in June 2010 after they and several others — Walter Creekmore, 63, Everett Hyden, 65, and Noble Hampton — allegedly offered Montgomery $20,000 in cash in an effort to secure the release of a prisoner.

Creekmore, Hyden, Carol Hampton, Noble Hampton, and Dalton allegedly attempted to bribe Montgomery in hopes of releasing Brandon Compton, Noble Hampton’s grandson and Carol Hampton’s son, from prison. Creekmore is Noble Hampton’s nephew, and Dalton was allegedly Carol Hampton’s boyfriend at the time the incident occurred.

Creekmore was accused of getting the money from the family and giving it to Hyden, who was accused of offering it to Montgomery to get Compton out of jail.

The Somerset Police Department conducted an investigation into the alleged bribery plot after Montgomery contacted them about being approached with the money, and all five defendants were arrested and charged with one count each of complicity to bribery of a public servant.

All five defendants were indicted on those charges by a Pulaski County grand jury in July 2010.

On Wednesday, Dalton was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while Carol Hampton received 12 months to serve, probated for a period of two years. That means Carol Hampton will serve probation for two years, but she’ll be facing a 12-month prison sentence should she violate the terms of her probation.

Creekmore and Hyden each previously entered guilty pleas to one count of complicity to bribery of a public servant. Creekmore pleaded guilty in Pulaski Circuit Court in June 2011 and Hyden pleaded guilty in November 2010.

Creekmore and Hyden were sentenced in August 2011 to seven years in prison, probated for five years. In other words, the two defendants will serve five years’ probation with no jail time should they meet all requirements of that probation. If they’re found to be in violation of his probation, they’ll be sentenced to seven years in prison.

Nobel Hampton, Carol Hampton's father, passed away in October 2010 while the charges against him were pending.

Conway expressed his appreciation to the Somerset Police Department and his Office of Special Prosecutions for their work on the case.

"This type of illegal and unscrupulous behavior is not tolerated in the Commonwealth of Kentucky," Conway said in a press release.

Montgomery, who has not been professionally involved in the case due to his status as a witness and as the alleged subject of the attempted bribery, said he is pleased to see the case come to a close more than two years after it began.

“I’m just glad it’s all over,” Montgomery said.

 

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