On the arrest of Johnny Paycheck


I would like to respond to the column written by Patrick Haley in the Oct. 10 News Journal about the arrest of Johnny Paycheck. In the column Mr. Haley claims that he and Chief Deputy Larry Newland participated in the arrest; as one of the deputies on duty that morning, I know that neither men were there.

From a News Journal article dated Dec. 20, 1985: “According to Sabina authorities, Sgt. Richard Storer who was on routine patrol when he spotted a car with Tennessee plates parked in front of the trailer. Earlier, sheriff’s deputies had warned Sabina Police that Paycheck, whose real name is Donnie Lytle, might be on the run after Hillsboro authorities sent computer teletypes to law enforcement agencies across the region.”

When Sgt. Storer advised that he located the vehicle, Deputy Kenny Vaughn and I proceeded to Sabina to assist Sgt. Storer. Deputy Vaughn arrived on the scene first and I arrived about five minutes later. As I pulled up to the trailer Mr. Paycheck was sitting in the back seat of Vaughn’s patrol car and Vaughn was walking to the driver’s side. Neither Mr. Haley nor Chief Deputy Newland were at the trailer. Deputy Vaughn said that Paycheck gave them no problem and that is confirmed in the 1985 article.

If you take away the fact that Mr. Paycheck was a celebrity, this was a routine arrest. But since most of the individuals that were mentioned in Mr. Haley’s column are now deceased, I feel that I have to speak for the two men that actually placed Mr. Paycheck into custody, Sgt. Richard Storer and Deputy Kenny Vaughn.

Peter Smith

Wilmington