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Sammy Catron ( May 11, 1953-April 13, 2002) was sheriff of Pulaski County, Kentucky. On the evening of April 13, 2002, Catron was assassinated by Danny Shelly after he finished a campaign speech at a fish fry and political rally being held at the volunteer fire department in Shopville, Kentucky. Sheriff Catron was running for a fifth term as sheriff. His former deputy, Jeff Morris, who was campaigning against him, and Kenneth White, a well-known dope dealer, had it done. He is buried at Somerset Cemetery in Somerset, Kentucky, along with other relatives.

Contents

Biography

Catron graduated from Somerset High School in 1971. His career in law enforcement began in the mid 1970s as a Pulaski County sheriff's deputy. Sammy quit in 1981 after Johnny Adams was elected sheriff. In 1982, Catron became the chief of police for Ferguson, Kentucky, leaving the position in 1985 after being elected sheriff of Pulaski County. He held the office the rest of his days. During his tenure, Catron served on the Kentucky Governor's Task Force for Marijuana Eradication, the Pulaski County Rescue Squad, the Appalachian High Density Drug Traffic Area task force, was a member of the National Sheriffs' Association and was named Sheriff of the Year in 1989. Sheriff Catron was well-known as an enemy of drug traffickers, flying a helicopter to search for marijuana plants and filling courtrooms with offenders his department had nabbed. In his private life, Catron served on the board of his local Eagle Scout troop, was a Vigil life member and past chief of the Kawida Lodge Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America.

The Plot

Sammy was killed by a plot cooked up by Kenneth White and Jeff Morris. They got Danny Shelly, a derelict addicted to oxycodone, to do their illicit act by promising to pay him off with a massive amount of the drug. Shelly, who used Morris' motorcycle to escape after he shot Sammy, was to meet later with Morris and White to be paid off. But Morris' real plan was to later meet up with Shelly, kill him under a pretense of self-defense, and pin all of the blame for Catron's death on Shelly. This action, Morris hoped, would make him a local hero and insure his election as sheriff. After the election, White would then run the county with Morris as his puppet. But their plot, which they had conceived earlier that day while at Wal-Mart in Somerset, backfired. Shelly took a wrong turn escaping from the law and wrecked Morris' motorcycle. After he was caught, he quickly implicated Morris. Morris, in turn, implicated White. All three are now in the pen.

Profiles

The case of Catron's murder was recently profiled on an episode of the A&E Network's City Confidential, examining the town of Somerset, Kentucky.

References

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