Three are sentenced in vote fraud case

Three people from Breathitt County were in federal court Thursday to be sentenced on federal vote buying charges.

The attorneys for the three defendants claimed these are not hardened criminals and should not receive prison time.

However, the judge said they corrupted an election, which hurt democracy and said it took away a basic constitutional right.

Jackie Jennings was sentenced to 60 days and Earl Young and Naomi Johnson were sentenced to four months in prison.

Jennings was the only defendant to speak to the judge.

He admitted his role and said he regrets it.

Naomi Johnson's attorney maintains she is innocent and asked for no prison time due to needing to care for her mentally handicapped son.

Johnson worked in a store where the alleged vote buying took place.

The judge said she believed Johnson knew what was going on and refused to let her out of prison time.

The attorneys for both Johnson and Young plan to file appeals in the case.

One thing that was repeatedly said in court was "Vote buying was the culture in Breathitt County." The judge said she was tired of hearing this and said all of eastern Kentucky deserves fair elections.


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