Last updated: November 21. 2013 7:02PM - 926 Views
Joe P. Asher Staff Writer

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A man convicted by a jury on three counts of wanton endangerment was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday in Harlan Circuit Court.

Joseph Edwards, 27, of Harlan, stood with his attorney Doug Asher in front of Special Judge Steve Hurt for sentencing.

According to a previous report, Edwards was originally charged with attempted murder of a police officer and wanton endangerment of a police officer after he allegedly opened fire on officers attempting to serve a search warrant at Apt. 2, 201 Meadow Drive on Ivy Hill.

The citation states Harlan County sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a warrant on Edward’s residence. Edwards fired a handgun at the deputies as they made entry into the residence, according to the citation. Deputies returned fire, and after a brief standoff, Edwards lowered his weapon and surrendered to deputies.

Edwards was found guilty on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment following a jury trial presided over by Judge Robert McGinnis. Edwards was found not guilty on all other charges, with the attempted murder charge having been amended to wanton endangerment before the jury began deliberations.

Before Hurt passed sentence, Asher addressed the court on his client’s behalf, mentioning Edwards’ military service and clean record previous to the shooting incident.

“This isn’t his second or third chance,” said Asher, referring to Edwards’ record. “He’s never been in trouble before.”

Asher also stated there were no “victims” in the shooting.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs pointed out that Harlan County Sheriff’s Deputy Britt Lipfird, who was serving as bailiff for the day’s court proceedings, was one of the deputies involved in the incident.

“The bailiff was in the line of fire,” Boggs told the court.

After considering both sides, Hurt went along with the jury’s recommendation of six years in prison.

In other court activity:

* Trenton Burkhart, 56, of Bledsoe, was sentenced to one year in prison on a charge of trafficking a controlled substance. Burkhart was additionally ordered to pay $70 restitution;

* Carolyn Cochran, 53, of Harlan, was sentenced to two years in prison on eight counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. Cochran was ordered to pay $2,580 in restitution;

Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, ext. 113, jasher@civitasmedia.com

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