Former Batesville Prosecutor Draws Five Year Sentence for Racketeering & Fraud

SEPTEMBER 16, 2004 - Posted at 2:19 p.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Former prosecutor T.J. Hively of Batesville was sentenced today to three years in prison for racketeering and mail fraud convictions.

Hively was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Howard, Jr. and is to report to prison on October 18.  Howard would not let Hively remain free pending appeal.

Howard declared a $464,000 judgement, an amount equal to what he was accused of diverting from a child support program.  Hively was sentenced to five years each on five counts, one racketeering charge and four mail fraud charges.

The sentences are to run concurrently, each with two years suspended.

Hively was prosecutor from 1993 to 1998 for the 16th Judicial District, which covers Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard and Stone counties.  He was accused of using his office to pressure people into turning over personal assets.

His former law partner, Wesley John "Butch" Ketz, was convicted of racketeering and mail fraud.  Ketz is to be sentenced tomorrow.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)