Police are still trying to catch a man accused of shooting a Tennessee state trooper and of shooting at a trooper in Kentucky. Floyd Ray Cook was last seen in Cumberland County, Kentucky, where school has been out for the last three days as police look for him.
Cook’s criminal record begins with first degree rape in 1971. He was paroled for that in 1978. During parole, he was arrested for assault and sentenced to five more years in jail. In January of 1983, he was granted parole again.
But in September of that year, several violations put him back behind bars. He was paroled a third time in 1986 until he was charged with robbery and sentenced to 100 years in prison.
While service that term at the Kentucky State Penitentiary Cook, along with 7 other inmates escaped. you might remember the "great escape of '88." The escape charge added 20 years onto his original sentence. He was paroled for a fourth time in 2009.
Lyon County Commonwealth Attorney Carrie Ovey-Wiggins says this is the way the law works. “Violent offenders are required to serve 85 percent of their sentence, but all individuals are eligible for parole after 20 years. It appears to me that in this case he was serving a life sentence, was eligible for parole after 20 years, and was paroled after the service of 21 years,” she said.
Ovey-Wiggins say she was shocked that he was even out on the streets. “My opinion is that he should not have been paroled, based upon his criminal history and the serious offenses that he has been convicted of. In addition, he has been granted parole, to my understanding, three times prior to this last time in 2009. Each time he was returned as a parole violator 20,” Ovey-Wiggins added.
Anyone who has seen Cook is asked to call law enforcement.
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