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Sep 11, 2012 11:40 AM

Man Accused Of Killing Retired Monroe County Sheriff Pleads Not Guilty

The man accused of gunning down a former Monroe County sheriff late last month pleaded not guilty in the case Tuesday.

Herbert Proffitt, 82, was gunned down outside his home on Rush Lane in Tompkinsville on August 28, the victim of what police call a drive-by shooting.

It's a killing that many close to the victim, who went by the nickname "Sprocket," describe as revenge killing. Proffitt had arrested his accused killer, Charles Hammer, 81, several times in the past, including in the 1980s, when Hammer was eventually locked away in the Kentucky State Penitentiary.

"He's a good friend to everybody," said Reed Moore, the Tompkinsville city attorney and a friend of Proffitt. "He was a really compassionate man. If he had to arrest you, he treated you with dignity and respect."

'Sprocket' served in the U.S. Army, then as the Monroe County Sheriff, the Tompkinsville Police Chief, and a court bailiff, before retiring in 2009.

On Tuesday, Hammer was denied bond in the case. His next court appearance is set for September 25.

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