'Quirky, little' Kentucky man was deadly serious about killing prosecutors. Judge reacts.

William Sutton was convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill two prosecutors and two ex-girlfriends.
William Sutton was convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill two prosecutors and two ex-girlfriends. WKYT

A Corbin man convicted of trying to hire someone to kill two state prosecutors and two of his ex-girlfriends has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

William Timothy Sutton, 55, was convicted in January on the murder-for-hire charges and one charge of possession of a gun by a convicted felon.

U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced him Wednesday.

Sutton was in the Whitley County Detention Center in March 2017 when he offered another inmate a total of $40,000 to kill the four people.

The inmate told authorities about the solicitation and cooperated in the investigation.

The victims in the case were Commonwealth’s Attorney Allen Trimble, who prosecutes felony cases in Whitley and McCreary counties; Whitley County Attorney Bob Hammons; and Tara Smith and Stephanie Broyles.

Sutton’s attorney, Willis G. Coffey, said in a motion that Sutton, a “quirky little man who is prone to spout off at the mouth,” only talked of hiring a killer out of frustration after “virtually countless acts of misconduct” by Smith and Broyles against Sutton and his family.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney W. Samuel Dotson said Sutton’s efforts went far beyond talk.

Sutton had a history of violence toward his ex-girlfriends and had tried earlier to hire someone to kill them, Dotson said.

Sutton also worked out a plan to pay a hired killer, directed his brother to get one of Sutton’s guns, took steps to get it to the hit man and provided information on the routines of the victims, according to Dotson’s motion.

U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr. said the lengthy sentenced reflected the seriousness of the crime.

“Through his abhorrent actions, the defendant victimized four people and attempted to undermine the sanctity of the judicial process and the rule of law,” Duncan said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case with Kentucky State Police and the jail.

Sutton must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for release.