Whitesburg KY
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Man dies while serving life term for murder here

The man convicted in the August 14, 1984, murder of his mother-in-law in Whitesburg has died in a Louisville hospital.

William Pennington, 75, died Dec. 15 after serving 30 years in prison. He was granted medical parole in 2014.

Pennington had been serving life without the possibility of parole for 25 years for the murder of Juanita Banks Hatton, 20 years for the attempted murders of his wife Sharon Pennington and her aunt, 20 years for burglary and 5 years for wanton endangerment.

Pennington had shot at his wife and her aunt in the driveway of her mother’s home, but missed. When Sharon Pennington ran in the house to call the police, William Pennington followed with the gun.

Juanita Hatton had been canning green beans in the basement and came up the stairs to see what was happening. When she reached the top of the stairs, William Pennington shot her in the head.

He was convicted in Letcher Circuit Court, but before the jury could return from the penalty phase of its deliberations, Pennington pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.

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