CORBIN — By Kristie Hamon and Carl Keith Greene / Times-Tribune Staff Writers
Ronnie Wayne Reynolds, was sentenced Wednesday to two years and three months in a federal prison by Federal Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove.
Reynolds, a former Williamsburg attorney, was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion by being paid off by former Whitley County sheriff Lawrence Hodge, in order that Reynolds would see to it that sentences would be shortened or charges eliminated all together.
Reynolds did not have to pay a fine but is to forfeit $199,500 in assets.
The forfeited money to be surrendered accounts for money he took in the process of extortion.
The case’s judgement for forfeiture called either for money, or a substitute asset of a plot of land, on Rooks Branch Road which is also called Oakland Road, near Keavy on which is a 14x66 foot mobile home considered to be worth about $199,500.
Addressing the court, Jerry Cox, Reynolds’ attorney, said while Reynolds did do wrong, he was still a victim.
“He was a victim. He was intimidated, threatened and coerced as much as anyone else,” Cox said.
Sam Dotson, assistant U.S. attorney, said the U.S. was not seeking a fine.
“Someone can be a victim and take part at the same time,” Dotson said.
He added, Reynolds had “been shaken down by this other public official.”
Following Dotson and Cox, Reynolds told Tatenhove that he has a rule that he always follows, “If you don’t feel comfortable about it, don’t do it.”
“I broke my rule,” Reynolds said. “I should have run him out of the house. I’m willing to take my punishment for it.”
“Through life I have been in rough company,” he said.
He concluded, “I ask the court to give me the opportunity to go back to work and help my two kids in law school.”
Tatenhove told Reynolds he didn’t think he would commit this crime or any crime again but he still deserves a punishment because of the seriousness of the crime.
Tatenhove told him to look at it as paying his debt to society. “I think you are remorseful that you made this mistake. You can now go forever knowing you have paid your debt to society.”
Reynolds will surrender himself by Aug. 30 at 2 p.m.
He asked to be placed in the McCreary County Federal Prison.
Reynolds is also associated with Clarence King, a drug distributor, Troy Rice, who was charged with selling a controlled substance, Jerry Bunch, charged with distributing cocaine and Kenneth Nighbert, charged with drug distribution.