Nine Indicted for Buying Votes in Breathitt County
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 04, 2011|
LEXINGTON—A federal grand jury in Lexington returned two separate indictments today that charge a total of nine people with a conspiracy to buy votes in the May 2010 primary elections in Breathitt County.
In addition to the conspiracy allegation, all nine defendants allegedly paid individuals for their votes.
One indictment charges 47-year-old Michael Salyers with seven counts of vote buying, while Naomi Johnson, 61, and Jackie Jennings, 61, are charged with two vote buying counts; Earl Young, 44, was charged with one vote buying count.
The other indictment charges Paula Jean Noble, 43, with five counts of vote buying; Joseph Strong, 50, with three vote buying counts; Richard L. Turner, 53, with two vote buying counts. George Daniel Strong, 53, and 37-year-old Woodrow Glenn Burton were each charged with one count of vote buying.
According to the indictment, Noble also committed perjury in March of this year when she provided false statements to the grand jury about her knowledge of the vote buying activity.
The defendants in both indictments are all from Breathitt County except Richard Turner, who is from Owsley County.
These cases were subject to federal prosecution because the election was held in part to select a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Elizabeth A. Fries, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Jack Conway, Attorney General of Kentucky, Office of the Attorney General, jointly made the announcement today after a federal grand jury in Lexington, Ky., returned the Indictments.
The investigation preceding the Indictments was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office. The Indictments were presented to the grand jury by Assistant United States Attorney Kenneth R. Taylor.
A date for the defendants to appear in U.S. District Court in Lexington has not yet been set. If convicted each defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of five years. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of sentences.
The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.