June 21, 2012
On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, former Nelson County Deputy Joshua Hatter was sentenced by Nelson County Circuit Court Judge J. Michael Gamble.
Earlier in March 2012, Hatter pleaded guilty to two felony charges: abduction and shooting in an occupied dwelling, and three misdemeanor charges of assault and battery, property damage and damaging a telephone to prevent a person from calling 911, all of which occurred on October 16, 2011.
At Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Anthony Martin, introduced testimony from Hatter’s former girlfriend about how Hatter’s actions affected her physically and emotionally. The defense then introduced evidence from several family members of Hatter.
After hearing the evidence, Judge Gamble sentenced Hatter to a total of 12 years and 6 months and suspended all of the sentences except for 8 months in jail which Hatter had served since he has remained in jail without bond since the incident.
As a condition of Hatter’s suspended sentences, he has been ordered to have no contact with the victim, ordered to remain alcohol free and attend substance abuse programs and he is on probation for 5 years meaning if he violates any of the sentencing conditions, Hatter could face being brought back before the court and be ordered to serve some or all of the remaining suspended prison sentence.
Judge Gamble cited Hatter’s lack of a prior criminal record and his having family members in the area who testified that they would make sure Hatter satisfied his court orders as reasons for sentencing Hatter below the state sentencing guidelines recommendation of continued incarceration for up to three years and seven months.