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Ison’s bond revoked




Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright has ruled that Jason Ray Ison must remain in jail until he is tried on charges of illegally selling prescription narcotics and criminally abusing a child less than 12 years old.

“Take him away,” Wright said angrily at the end of a bond revocation hearing held July 8.

Indictments charging Ison with trafficking in hydrocodone and criminally abusing his girlfriend’s minor child were unsealed in Letcher Circuit Court in early May, less than four months after Ison was freed from a 19-year prison sentence imposed after he was convicted in the October 2005 vehicular deaths of his wife, a cousin, and his best friend.

On May 20, Ison was released from the Letcher County Jail after a $20,000 cash bond imposed after the indictments were returned was say that less than week later, on May 26, Ison was driving without an operator’s license when the 1989 Chevrolet S-10 pickup he was driving crashed into the rear of a passenger car at Premium. Police say Ison drove the truck away from the scene before wrecking it about five minutes later in Smoot Creek.

Wright made his decision to revoke Ison’s bond after hearing testimony from Kentucky State Police Detective Randy Combs and Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Michael Burton.

Burton is the officer in charge of the investigation of the hit-andrun accident on KY 160 at Premium, which resulted in Ison being indicted by a grand jury last week on five counts of wanton endangerment, five counts of assault, operating a vehicle without an operator’s license, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, criminal mischief, and being a persistent felony offender.

Combs was called on to investigate the accident on KY 1811 at Smoot Creek after Ison allegedly fled the scene on foot after losing control of the small pickup and driving it into the creek. A billfold containing Ison’s identification card was found at the scene of the wreck, as were documents showing the truck was registered to Ison’s girlfriend, Nola Caldwell.

Burton testified last week that scratches and “paint transfers” taken from the truck Ison was driving and a 2000 Ford Focus being driven by Glenda Halcomb of Whitesburg show that the vehicles were involved in a collision.

Combs testified that in addition to Ison’s wallet being found at the scene, two Smoot Creek residents were able to identify Ison as the driver of the pickup from photo lineup. Combs said Ison was also identified as the driver of the truck by an aunt who lives near the scene of the second wreck.

Both Combs and Burton testified that they made numerous attempts to talk with Ison after the two accidents, but that he was always able to avoid police before eventually turning himself in to authorities on July 6.

Burton testified that several police officers attempted “more than once to try to contact this subject.”

“We had people take us (to where Ison was believed to be staying) and drop us off so we wouldn’t have our vehicles,” Burton said.


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