Bell County Constable pleads guilty to stealing charitable gaming funds

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

BELL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A Bell County Constable on the wrong side of the law was back in court Thursday.

Jesse James Hall and his wife Juanita Hall pleaded guilty to charges related to stealing charitable gaming funds.

In Bell County Circuit Court, Jesse Hall and his wife Juanita admitted they stole thousands of dollars intended for charity.

The judge asked, "Do you admit you committed the acts charged in the indictment?" Both Jesse and Juanita Hall answered yes. Then the judge asked, "Do you plead guilty because you are guilty by no other reason?" The Halls then answered yes again.

The couple ran the Bell County Bingo Parlor in Middlesboro. Police say the money was going to the couple's personal use instead of charity.

The Halls pleaded guilty to all 23 total charges.

"I feel very confident we could've beaten most of them. For us, it's the avoidance, the risk of prison time. This way, we know exactly what we're facing," said Michael Taylor, defense attorney.

Jesse Hall will serve 90 days in jail and both will have supervised probation for five years.

The couple owes $77,741 in restitution. They agreed to give their home to the Bell County Fair and Exhibition Board as part of the restitution.

"I would note for the court, that these people in a good faith effort to pay the restitution are in effect signing away their home, and we think this is fair to all parties involved," Commonwealth's Attorney Karen Greene Blondell told the judge.

The Halls are banned for life from charitable gaming.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 12th.

Jesse Hall remains a Bell County Constable. Officials say his future constable status will be decided after his sentencing. His attorney told WYMT Hall plans to resign from constable before sentencing.

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