Special Grand Jury To Investigate Murder Of A Former Sheriff Candidate

A special grand jury will further investigate the murder of a former sheriff candidate. The panel will also look into the cast of a former Harlan County Sheriff's deputy who admitted he interfered with a federal drug investigation. The Harlan County Circuit judge believes there's a connection between the two investigations.

Former Harlan County Deputy Sheriff Roger Hall recently got out of prison after serving 15 months for interfering in a federal drug investigation. But Commonwealth's Attorney Henry Johnson says Hall could've served more time.

"He was given consideration, more lenient sentence, because he had given testimony against two prominent citizens in Harlan County," Johnson said.

But federal court officials still won't release that testimony.

"If the information was valuable enough, something needs to be done with that information try to discover what that is," Johnson said.

In May, Harlan Circuit Judge Ron Johnson called for a grand jury investigation into Roger Hall. Now a special grand jury has been seated just for the purpose of looking at the Roger Hall case and its connection with the 2002 murder of former Harlan sheriff candidate Paul Browning.

Johnny Epperson and Raymond Harris face murder charges in Bell County. That's where Paul Browning was found dead. Browning's son believes the conspiracy to kill his father was in Harlan County.

"I hope it continues to be a search for the truth in the murder of my father. For everything to be brought out into the open," said Paul Browning.

That's exactly what the Harlan County judge and prosecutor are hoping for after what's expected to be months of investigation.

We were unable to reach former Deputy Roger Hall, but Harlan County Sheriff Steve Duff is releasing a statement defending his department saying that if there were any others involved in corruption, they would have been arrested and prosecuted.

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