Court Report

LAUREL COUNTY — Two men involved with hiding the body of a murdered woman in 2018 will serve two years in jail after their sentencing hearing next month.

Over three years after the death of Sherry Rose of Corbin, Michael Hinkle, 51, and Cody Allen Hinkle, 27, of Mitchell Creek Road in London entered a plea agreement in Laurel Circuit Court on Thursday to tampering with physical evidence related to their roles in hiding Rose's body in a secluded area in Clay County.

Rose was reported missing by her co-workers at the Corbin Walmart on June 12, 2018 after she failed to report for work - an unusual incident for her. That sent police to her home on Thoroughbred Trail, in a trailer park just off Cumberland Gap Parkway (U.S. 25-E) and American Greeting Card Road the following day.

It was during that investigation that Laurel Sheriff's officials learned that neighbors had seen Rose's daughter, Christie McFadden and her husband, Joseph, driving Rose's vehicle and unloading cleaning supplies the weekend after Rose was reported missing. After several days of trying to locate the McFaddens, police did question and arrest the pair on charges of murder, theft over $500, tampering with physical evidence, abuse of a corpse and fleeing or evading police.

Questioning of the two revealed that they had enticed the Hinkles to participate in the plot to hide Rose's body. Evidence indicates that the McFaddens put Rose's body in a suitcase and took it to "the farm" - a place located in southern Laurel County. The Hinkles then reportedly put Rose's body into their vehicle and took it to a secluded area in Clay County and left it there. Rose's vehicle was also found abandoned.

Initially, the Hinkles were charged with tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse in their indictment in August 2018. Their plea agreement dismissed the abuse charge on both men. However, the plea also requires both men to testify against the McFaddens during their jury trial scheduled for next month.

The Hinkles were released on bond just days following their arrest, meaning they have served little jail time that would be counted toward their sentence time.

The Hinkles are set for sentencing on Aug. 18 before Laurel Circuit Judge Michael O. Caperton. The McFaddens are scheduled for a jury trial in August.


In other Laurel Circuit Court hearings:

• Another man charged with first-degree rape had his day in court on Thursday entering a guilty plea for an incident that took place on Sept. 5, 2018. The indictment returned against Adrian David Gross, 44, of West Laurel Road in London, stated that Gross "engaged in sexual intercourse" with a female "through the use of forcible compulsion."

Gross was facing between 5 to 10 years in prison on the charge, but entered a guilty plea to serve 7 years. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for 20 years. Sentencing is set for Sept. 5.

• A man charged with bootlegging alcohol into the county in January 2017 also entered a guilty plea in Thursday's court session.

Harold E. Mayton, 73, address not listed, pleaded guilty to an amended charge of facilitation to engaging in organized crime, agreeing to serve a 2-year sentence that was probated for 5 years. As part of the plea agreement, he also agreed to forfeit $25,000.

Mayton was indicted in Nov. 2019 along with four other people for "organizing, conspiring and participating among themselves and with others in committing the offense of operating and/or profiting from the illegal transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages in a county that is dry between Jan. 23, 2017 through Feb. 14, 2017. As part of the plea agreement, additional charges of trafficking in alcohol in a dry territory were dismissed.

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