Joseph L Rayburn, 44, of Burnwell, Kentucky plead guilty to Attempted Aggravated Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Malicious Shooting a Firearm at an Occupied Law Enforcement Vehicle, Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance, and Eluding Law Enforcement in the Buchanan County Circuit Court on September 22, 2021.
On September 5, 2020, Lieutenant Brandon Hall of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office was on patrol in the Hurley section of Buchanan County when he encountered Rayburn. Hall activated his lights in an attempt to make a traffic stop. Instead of stopping, Rayburn sped up to an “extremely high rate of speed.” During the chase that ensued, Rayburn rammed a Sheriff’s Office cruiser and, eventually, brandished a firearm, firing a pistol toward Hall through the driver’s side window. Deputies eventually wrecked Rayburn’s vehicle causing a short standoff between Rayburn and Police when Rayburn created a human shield by pulling his female passenger in front of himself. Eventually, Rayburn threw the firearm out of the window, allowing officers to pull him out through the driver’s side widow to forcefully restrain him.
Ultimately, Rayburn was sentenced to 75 years in prison with 60 years of that sentence being suspended on the condition that he serve 15 years in prison and successfully complete 10 years of active supervised probation.
When asked for comment, Buchanan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Gerald Arrington stated, “Violence toward our police officers who serve and protect the citizens of our County will not be tolerated by my office. Mr. Rayburn’s actions are unjustifiable, and they are the behavior of a violent criminal who should be in prison, not roaming the streets of our Commonwealth. As Commonwealth’s Attorney, I have always proudly stood with law enforcement during my career, and I continue to do so despite the anti-police narrative that we see too often on national television.” Arrington went on to say that “Lieutenant Hall is to be commended for his bravery in risking his life to protect others, and I applaud he and the other deputies in apprehending this violent felon before he injured an innocent motorist.”