December 20, 2012
HAZARD – A judge in Perry County will consider next month whether a woman convicted in the shooting death of another woman will receive an early release from prison.
Defense attorney Gerald Teaster filed a motion for shock probation on behalf of 43-year-old Sarah Melton, who in July was found guilty of reckless homicide and assault under extreme emotional disturbance for shooting two people with a shotgun in June 2011. One of the two people was Cindy Caudill, of Brownsfork, who died as a result of the wound she suffered in the shooting. The second victim, Melton’s brother, survived the incident.
Melton was originally indicted in 2011 on charges of murder and first-degree assault and faced possible life imprisonment, but after a trial that lasted several days this past summer was found guilty on lesser charges. The jury recommended six years to serve, and Melton was sentenced in August.
According to state law, a circuit judge can suspend the remainder of Melton’s prison sentence and institute a probationary period. The conditions of the probation would be determined by the judge, who can have up to 10 days to issue a ruling.
Teaster was set to argue his motion for shock probation on Thursday, however, a witness he intended to call is currently hospitalized, and he requested that his motion be heard at a later date.
“I can’t go forward without her,” Teaster said, and suggested a new court date of Jan. 10.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Teresa Reed explained that she had spoken with Caudill’s family, and they intend to appear at whatever court date is set.
Circuit Judge Bill Engle reset the hearing for Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.