State

Man captured, charged in slaying of Pikeville police officer

John Russell Hall
John Russell Hall

A man who was wanted in connection to the murder of a 35-year-old veteran Pikeville police officer was captured Thursday.

John Russell Hall, 55, of Pikeville, was charged with one count of murder of a police officer and one count of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon in connection with the slaying of Pikeville police officer Scotty Hamilton. Hall was captured near the Floyd County and Pike County border, according to Kentucky State Police.

Gov. Matt Bevin said Hall was captured without incident.

Hamilton was shot after responding to a call with Kentucky State Police in the Hurricane community around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, the city said. Hall lives in the Hurricane area, according to recent court records.

According to state police, Hamilton and Trooper Matt Martin were patrolling the area when they saw a suspicious vehicle. The officers spoke with people in the vehicle and then separated as they searched around a nearby residence for someone on foot. After hearing gunshots, Martin found Hamilton close to the residence with a fatal gunshot wound, police said. The shooter escaped.

KSP spokesman William Petry said police arrested four people who were at the scene on charges unrelated to the shooting.

Hamilton was with the Pikeville department for 12 years. He is survived by his wife, Chelsie Hamilton, and his infant daughter, Brynlee.

Visitation will be at 5 p.m. Friday and 12 p.m. Saturday at the East Kentucky Expo Center, 126 Main Street in Pikeville. The funeral is at 1 p.m. Sunday, also at the East Kentucky Expo Center. He will be buried in the Pikeville City Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Brynlee Hamilton Scholarship Fund, c/o Community Trust Bank, P.O. Box 2947, Pikeville, KY 41502.

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