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Buckley extradited to KY on State Police plane due to flight risk

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The plan to bring in John Buckley was very tightly-held by the sheriff's office. They say that's one reason it went smoothly. The sheriff says Buckley was the highest flight risk prisoner her office has transported.

The sheriff says her office had the luxury of lots of time to plan.

"We were given that opportunity because he refused to sign extradition initially. We had to start a governor's warrant and then after the governors warrant was executed, he filed the writ of habeas corpus, which gave us additional time to do the planning," said Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt.

Part of that planning was what mode of transportation would be best for Buckley. Often, trips of more than 500 miles are made with commercial flights, but that changes with the risk assessment of the prisoner.

"We look at what he's being charged with. We look at his criminal history. We look at his behavior in the facility that he's currently in. Then we assess what is the best method in which to bring this individual back," Witt said.

In the end, the sheriff's office chose to use a plane owned by the Kentucky State Police. Sheriff Witt said a partnership with the state police made that both the safest and most economic choice.

"It's a partnership. We will just be charged for the fuel and if there is a landing fee," said Witt.

Sheriff Witt said her office hasn't finalized what the costs were yet, but said they were well below what they could have been for other options. The state has spent thousands upon thousands in the search for Buckley. Much of that will be recovered through the $150,000 bond that was forfeited.

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