UPDATE: Judge sentences trail-hiking fugitive to 8 years
CINCINNATI (AP) – The Latest on the sentencing of a Kentucky accountant who hiked the Appalachian Trail as a fugitive (all times local):
A federal judge has sentenced a Kentucky accountant to eight years in prison, just over a year after FBI agents arrested him to end his six years as a fugitive in an $8.7 million embezzlement case.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott (duh-LAHT’) in Cincinnati also ordered 54-year-old James T. Hammes (HAM’-uhs) to continue to pay restitution and to be on probation three years after his release.
Dlott cited the high amount of money Hammes embezzled, his flight to avoid prosecution and collateral damage he caused to his family. Hammes’ attorney indicated she will appeal the sentence.
Hammes pleaded guilty last year to a count of wire fraud.
He had spent most of his six years hiking the Appalachian Trail going by the name “Bismarck.”
A Kentucky accountant who spent most of six years as a fugitive in an embezzlement case roaming the Appalachian Trail will soon learn how many more years he will spend behind bars.
U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott (duh-LAHT’) scheduled sentencing Wednesday for 54-year-old James T. Hammes in Cincinnati. The judge has said she’s weighing factors including the high amount of money involved – $8.7 million – and Hammes’ flight to avoid prosecution. He pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud.
The U.S. attorney’s office wants Hammes’ to get more than seven years in prison. Hammes’ attorneys are asking for three years, saying he’s remorseful and trying to redeem himself. The FBI arrested him in May 2015 at a Damascus, Virginia, inn during the annual Trail Days festival.
Sentencing guidelines indicate a range of 63 to 78 months.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.