Whitesburg KY

Accused killer faces new count after needle found

A man charged with murder is facing a new charge after a hypodermic needle was found taped to a bunk bed assigned to him in the Letcher County Jail.

James Ray Maggard, 33, of 410 Goose Creek Road, Neon, was charged with first-degree promoting contraband after the needle was found during a search of his cell. He is scheduled to appear at preliminary hearing in Letcher District Court at 1 p.m. on December 20.

Maggard has been held in the county jail since late June, when he allegedly murdered Dradrick “Drad” Fleming after an ambush near Fleming’s Millstone home. Fleming’s remains were found near a mine site in the Eolia area after Maggard walked into the Letcher County Sheriff ’s

Office on June 23 and confessed to killing Fleming. Authorities charge that Fleming, an underground coal miner, was still alive before Maggard poured an accelerant on Fleming’s pickup truck and pushed it over an embankment on Black Mountain.

The Letcher County Grand Jury has charged Maggard, who was having an affair with Fleming’s wife, Stephanie Fleming, with capital murder, tampering with physical evidence, theft, hindering prosecution, arson, and kidnapping.

Stephanie Fleming, 30, is accused of helping Maggard commit the murder. She is charged with complicity to capital murder, complicity to tampering with physical evidence, complicity to theft, hindering prosecution, complicity to arson, complicity to kidnapping, and being a persistent felony offender.

A third defendant, Austin L. Ison, 24, of Pert Creek, is also charged with complicity to murder, complicity to arson, complicity to kidnapping, complicity to tampering with physical evidence, and hindering prosecution.

Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II is seeking the death penalty in each of the three cases.

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