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Man accused of threatening mayor, sheriff


SALYERSVILLE – A Magoffin County man was picked up last week on warrants related to him allegedly threatening two local offices and the mayor.

According to the arrest citations, Gary Simpkins Jr., 46, of Coal Branch Road, in Salyersville, was arrested on Coal Branch on September 26 around 10 a.m. by Magoffin County Sheriff Department Deputy Jonathan Holbrook, on three separate warrants.

According to the warrants, Simpkins allegedly sent messages to Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd on August 29, 2019, that were “lengthy, harassing in nature and served no legitimate purpose.” 

Reportedly, in one of the messages, Simpkins told Shepherd to “tell his son to sleep tight and that he had been found incompetent and was on his way, that he would see him in a few hours,” according to the warrant issued on September 5.

In another warrant, issued on August 26, Simpkins is accused of posting on a Facebook marketplace page, “I hope someone kills Pete Shepherd whole family off over what he has done to magoffins people,” and “Yeah I’m a coward cause I know once I pull a gun I gotta shoot to kill or be killed but since Magoffin fill of vote selling trash I dont give anyone my time cause they dont deserve it.”

The third warrant, issued on September 4, states that Magoffin County Sheriff Department received a call from Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, in which the caller told law enforcement Simpkins called on August 30 and said he was “loading up his guns and heading towards the Sheriff’s Department to shoot everyone there.” 

He then reportedly called back 30 minutes later, stating, “the people a Mountain Comprehensive Care Center never do anything to help him and they support Sheriff Montgomery, so he was going to come and shoot up MCCC before he went to the Sheriff’s Department,” according to the warrant.

Simpkins was arrested on Thursday, September 26, and taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, where he remains at press time. He currently is facing two counts of harassing communications and two counts of third-degree terroristic threatening, both misdemeanor charges. 

Editor's Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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