Kentucky police are looking for a murder suspect they believe cut off the ankle monitor and fled

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Kentucky police are looking for a murder suspect who allegedly cut off his ankle monitor on Tuesday morning and drove off with another man in a van.

James W. Gentry Jr., 46, was awaiting trial in the 2018 shooting death of Keith “Joey” Hayes Jr., 35, who police say was found riddled with gunshot wounds in late November of that year in Christian County.

James W. Gentry Jr., 46, was awaiting trial in the 2018 shooting death of Keith “Joey” Hayes Jr., 35, who police say was found riddled with gunshot wounds in late November of that year in Christian County.
(Hopkinsville Police Department)

He was due back in court Tuesday morning but fled rather than show up, according to state police.

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Gentry allegedly told state troopers in 2019 that he was present when Hayes was shot multiple times on Nov. 27, 2018, according to Kentucky news radio station WHOP.

The victim had been reported missing a day earlier – and Gentry was the last person to see him.

The two had allegedly met so Hayes could sell Gentry a ring and plot another alleged crime, according to the station.

James W. Gentry wore dark pants and a red shirt or jacket.  Surveillance video showed him walking with another man before getting into a dark-colored four-door pickup truck at a Circle K gas station.

James W. Gentry wore dark pants and a red shirt or jacket. Surveillance video showed him walking with another man before getting into a dark-colored four-door pickup truck at a Circle K gas station.
(Hopkinsville Police Department)

Gentry later allegedly pawned the ring for $900 and led investigators to a barn on Buffalo Road in Trigg County where they found the body.

He allegedly claimed that two other men killed Hayes in a drug deal gone wrong.

Gentry is described as 6 feet tall and weighing around 170 pounds. His last known location was at the intersection of Coxmill and Wooldridge roads in Hopkinsville, according to local police.

James W. Gentry may be traveling in this van or in a gold Buick Regal, police say.

James W. Gentry may be traveling in this van or in a gold Buick Regal, police say.
(Hopkinsville Police Department)

He wore dark pants and a red shirt or jacket. Surveillance video showed him walking with another man before getting into a dark-colored four-door pickup truck at a Circle K gas station.

State police later said he may have gotten into a gold Buick Regal heading south.

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Nobility are considered dangerous and can be armed. In addition to the murder charge, he was also charged with theft and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Anyone with information about Gentry is asked to call Hopkinsville Police at 270-890-1300 or Kentucky State Police at 270-856-3721. Anonymous tips can be made at 1-800-222-5555.

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