A Jonesville man, who previously pleaded guilty to attempting to hire another individual to murder a Pennington Gap Police Officer, was sentenced to 248 months in prison on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon.
Harold Wayne Owen, 49, pleaded guilty in 2015 to one count of the use of a facility of interstate commerce to commit murder for hire and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. According to evidence presented at previous hearings, Owen held a grudge against a Pennington police officer for previously administering a field sobriety test to Owen during a traffic stop for driving under the influence. On December 15, 2014, Owen attempted to hire someone to have the officer killed, claiming he would pay the individual $20,000 after he received a $100,000 insurance settlement. He told the individual he would provide a .223 rifle for the job and discussed the use of a water tower in range of the Pennington Gap police department to execute the crime.
A press release states that on Feb. 7, 2015, Owen facilitated the sale of a firearm, an AK-47 style rifle, from a third party, to the informant for use in the murder for hire plot to kill the Pennington Gap Police Office.