Tompkinsville News

Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Charles Hammer (DOB 1931) appeared in Monroe Circuit Court on Wednesday, April 17, and pled guilty to the murder of former law officer Herbert “Sprokett” Proffitt.

Hammer, who had been charged in the August 28, 2012 shooting death of Proffitt, received 50 years in prison after changing his plea to guilty on murder and tampering with physical evidence.

According to KSP investigators at the time of the murder, Hammer’s motive for gunning down Proffitt stemmed from his arrest many years prior. Proffitt, who had walked out of his home to get the mail, was shot and died soon afterward from his wound. His wife, Bernice, and grandson were both at home at the time of the shooting.

Hammer was quickly located through eyewitness testimony at the scene and surrendered to police.

Bernice Proffitt fell ill and died only five days later.

The Proffitts’ only son–Jeff Proffitt–gave the victim impact statement in court, telling Hammer that his actions “took my father’s life and also my mother’s five days later.”


Several maintenance workers learned on Thursday afternoon, April 18, that their jobs with the City of Tompkinsville would conclude on April 30, after the Tompkinsville City Commission voted to outsource the management of the gas, water and sewer distribution/maintenance to RussMar Logistics of Richmond.

“We really had no choice,” Mayor Jeff Proffitt noted later on. “The Public Service Commission (PSC) had placed so many things on us due to the noncompliance that our city was in that we had to have the people certified to keep us running.”

In later summer 2012, the PSC filed a complaint against the City of Tompkinsville that the gas system continued to remain in non-compliance and Shawn Martin (of Martin Contracting) was brought in to get the necessary repairs done to keep the city’s gas system going.

“This is a 90-day trial period,” Proffitt continued, “and will result in a $7,000 to $9,000 savings each month for the city. The Commission can choose to get out of the contract at any time with a 30-day notice.”

Meeting in special session on Thursday, the Commission opened the bids for this service with RussMar Logistics the only bidder to submit the required paperwork. RussMar is a collaborative partnership between Shawn Martin and his father-in-law, Proffitt noted.

“Shawn and his men have been in Tompkinsville since August 2012, and they are familiar with our needs and the issues we have with our gas system,” Proffitt stated.

In a meeting with employees that afternoon, Proffitt told them that Martin would be taking applications this week and be taking over the distribution/maintenance systems on May 1. This date, Proffitt added, was very important as the city expects the PSC inspectors to be in town for an update that week.

If the city decides to take back management of the system, any former employees would be welcome to reapply for employment, Proffitt noted. When asked if they would be required to meet all hiring guidelines now in place as far as certifications or drug testing, Proffitt answered that they would be treated as any new hire.

RussMar’s bid of $42,337 per month for the service may seem high to some, but the bid includes all manager and employee salaries, Proffitt noted.