PIKEVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Tests for ballistics, DNA analysis and fingerprinting are ongoing in a case in which a Pikeville man is accused of capital murder in connection to the March death of Pikeville Police Officer Scotty Hamilton, the Appalachian News Express reported.
Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Rick Bartley said testing of a firearm and other objects potentially connected to the March arrest of John R. Hall, 56, of Hurricane Creek, Pikeville, is still continuing during a court hearing in the case in Pike Circuit Court Thursday.
Hall was indicted on one count of capital murder, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of receiving stolen property and for being a persistent felony offender in the first degree in connection to the shooting of Officer Hamilton on the night of March 13, the newspaper reported.
The testing, which is being completed at the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab, is active in the DNA analysis at this time, Bartley said, and should be completed within six to eight weeks. The KSP Crime Lab is also contracted with the Department of Public Advocacy, which is representing Hall in the case, and thus any defense-requested testing can be completed there at the lab, Bartley said Thursday.
According to Bartley, there was a backpack which had been seized at some point during the manhunt and search for Hall which occurred after the killing of Officer Hamilton. KSP detectives looked into the backpack, but “had made no extraction” from inside, Bartley said, but defense can choose to have that backpack tested.
All discovery, or evidence in the case, has been filed under seal, which was agreed to in May due to both prosecutors and defense attorneys statements of “highly inflammatory content.”
Hall’s public advocate Theresa Whitaker said the DPA would “look into the testing of the backpack with analyzation.”
Pike Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman set a pretrial hearing in the case against Hall for Oct. 18, and said counsels would need to look at a timeframe for trial at that date.
A connected case, in which Michael T. Slone, 39, of South Tice Branch, Banner; Greg Dean Slone, 54, of Stoney Brook Drive; Amanda Dotson, 37, of Right Fork of Island Creek, Pikeville; and Jeanne Blackburn, 44, of Toler Creek Road, Harold, were each charged with hindering the apprehension of Hall during his two-day flight from the law, has been set for trial in September.