October 31, 2012
Knott County Judge-Executive Randy Thompson and three others convicted in a vote-buying scandal will remain free from prison for now as they continue to appeal their convictions in federal court.
Thompson, along with John Mac Combs, Ronnie Adams, and Phillip Champion, were convicted during a jury trial in U.S. District Court in 2008 of using public funds to influence the 2006 general election, during which Thompson became the first Republican to win the county judge’s office in heavily Democratic Knott County. He won re-election in 2010.
Thompson and his co-defendants were originally sentenced to serve time in prison following their 2008 jury trial, but remained free as they appealed their convictions.
A three-judge panel with the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in September affirmed the jury’s decision, after which attorneys filed requests for a new hearing before the full court in an attempt to have those convictions overturned. A decision on a new hearing has not yet been made, according to court records.
Attorneys also filed requests that their clients remain free while the appeals process continues. Thompson was scheduled to report to a federal corrections facility Nov. 6 in Pennsylvania to begin serving his sentence, though a judge on Tuesday suspended that date, noting that the Court would be considering Thompson’s request to remain free while on appeal.
“The voluntary surrender dates of defendants Randall Thompson, John Mac Combs, Ronnie Adams, and Phillip Champion are held in abeyance pending further consideration by this Court of their motions for continued release pending appeal,” the order reads.