State

Magoffin County man pleads guilty in vote-fraud case

A man charged in an alleged vote-fraud scheme in Magoffin County has admitted helping bribe a voter.

Scott Lynn McCarty pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge that he aided and abetted the payment of a woman in the May 2014 primary.

McCarty said in a court document that he went in the voting booth with the woman to make sure she voted for certain candidates — who were not named in the document — and then directed the woman to see another person McCarty knew who would pay her for voting.

Accompanying people into voting booths under the guise that they need assistance has been a common tactic in vote-buying in Kentucky.

McCarty is to be sentenced in May and faces up to a year in prison.

McCarty’s attorney, Michael B. Fox, said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on whether McCarty has agreed to help prosecutors.

McCarty is charged in another case with Magoffin County Magistrate Gary “Rooster” Risner; his wife, Tami Jo Risner; Mason Daniels; and Larry Shepherd, the husband of county Clerk Renee Arnett Shepherd.

The indictment charges that the Risners, Daniels and Shepherd conspired to buy votes in 2014 for county Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin, a Democrat, and for Gary Risner and Renee Shepherd.

All those charged have pleaded not guilty. Renee Shepherd and Hardin have not been charged and have denied involvement in vote fraud.

McCarty’s plea in the misdemeanor case said that at sentencing, prosecutors intend to drop charges against him in the larger case involving Risner and the others.

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