June 25, 2013
PRESTONSBURG - A plea deal in the double murder trial of James Slone was struck between the defendant and the Commonwealths Attorney’s last Friday in Floyd Circuit Court. Slone will receive up to 20 years in prison for the deaths of Jeffrey Hamilton, and Karen Mitchell.
The trial of James Slone, 33, of Melvin, has been over two years in the making. Slone was indicted in 2011 on two counts of murder, four counts of first-degree assault, and one count of driving under the influence.
Jeffrey Hamilton, and Karen Mitchell, were both killed in the summer of 2011 when a 2000 Dodge truck driven by Slone cross the center line and collided with Hamilton’s vehicle. Two other passengers in Hamilton’s vehicle were also injured.
According to Amy Tufts, with Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, Slone plead guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter as well as two counts of first degree assault, and two counts of fourth degree assault. The manslaughter charges each carry a 10 year sentence, which are to be served consecutively. Slone received an 11 year sentence for the two counts of first degree assault, which are to be served concurrently. Because first degree assault is a violent offense, Slone must serve 85 percent of that sentence before he will be eligible for parole. He also received 12 months for the charges of fourth degree assault, which will be served concurrently with the other charges.
Tufts said Monday that the overall sentence was a good length of time, and believed Slone would be forced to serve most of his sentence. She says that the family has been given the right to attend his parole hearing. Given that two people died as a result of Slone’s actions, Tufts says, “I don’t think he’ll get out his first time.”
Slone will appear in Floyd Circuit Court for formal sentencing on September 5, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. Following the sentencing, Slone will be transferred to a state penitentiary to serve his time behind bars.