Accused Murderer Appears in Monroe Circuit Court

By Lauren Forsythe | 

Former Tompkinsville Police Chief Herbert "Sprocket" Proffitt was shot and killed in front of his home in August.

His accused killer appeared in court today.

Charles Hammer, 81, is charged with Proffitt's murder.

Time has gone by, but Tompkinsville hasn't forgotten about their former chief.

"There's still a lot of questions when I go out into the community and a lot of statements being made as to what really happened.You know, what's going on with Charles Hammer and what should be done to him," says Tompkinsville Police Chief Dale Ford.

He was in Monroe County Circuit Court today where his attorney filed a suppression motion.

If it is approved, the defense will be able to remove certain evidence from the case once it goes to trial.

The motion will be heard May 9th.

Hammer's attorney wants everyone to keep in mind that he is innocent until proven guilty.

"Both of these were elderly men and we certainly sympathize with the family, but right now we've got a job to do and he has not been found guilty. He is still is afforded the same constitutional rights that we all have, and it's just important to us right now that our client gets a fair trial," Public Defender, Crystal Thompson says.

The town of Tompkinsville is set up for Christmas but people are still remembering 4 months back when their former police chief was shot and killed in front of his house.

"There's still a lot of angry people out there that just don't understand why it happened," Chief Ford says.

Growing up, "Sprocket" was Chief Ford's role model, and this tragedy hits close to home.

"It was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through as a chief, and the outpour from the community, the help we received, it was just great and I hope I never have to go through it again."

Because of his age, Chief Ford expects Hammer won't see the sentence, he says he deserves.

"He has problems breathing, he's had heart problems, so of course, it's been compounded," Thompson says.

"I just don't feel like their could be a justifiable punishment in this case," Chief Ford says.

A pre-trial hearing is set for May 15th.

Hammer's trial starts July 9th.

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