For nearly three years, Danny Shelley has shown remorse for his part in the tragic April 2002 slaying of Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron.

Now he has done an about-face, claims he got bad advice from his attorney and has filed a motion seeking a jury trial.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy Montgomery said last night Shelley, acting on his own behalf, filed the motion yesterday in Pulaski Circuit Court.

Shelley, the man who pulled the trigger and murdered Catron, has claimed that drugs and paranoia led him to the crime. It seemed that he was taking responsibility for his actions.

In March 2003, Shelley agreed to a plea deal that sent him to prison for 25 years without the possibility of parole.

Montgomery, however, said he wasn’t taken aback by Shelley’s motion.

“Really, it’s almost standard,” Montgomery said. “These guys with long prison terms sit around and think about it ... and decide maybe they can get a shorter sentence. This doesn’t surprise me.”

Montgomery said he will oppose Shelley’s motion, which will be heard by Special Judge Paul Braden. In 2004, Braden overruled a similar motion by Jeff Morris, the second of the three men who plotted Catron’s slaying. Morris has filed an appeal.

The third man, Kenneth White, was convicted by a Pulaski Circuit Court jury of complicity to commit murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In Shelley’s motion, he claims he received “bad advice” by is attorney Mark Stanziano when he cut the plea deal.

Montgomery said last night if Shelley is granted a new trial, he will seek the death penalty.

"He better be careful what he asks for," Montgomery said.

Recommended for you