Sentencing planned in Ohio for trail-hiking fugitive

CINCINNATI (AP) — A Kentucky accountant who spent most of six years as a fugitive in an embezzlement case roaming the Appalachian Trail will soon learn how many more years he will spend behind bars.

Fifty-four-year-old James Hammes (HAM’-ehs) is to be sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Cincinnati. The judge has said she’s weighing factors including the high amount of money involved — $8.7 million — and Hammes’ flight to avoid prosecution. He pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud.

The U.S. attorney’s office wants more than seven years in prison. Hammes’ attorneys are asking for three years, saying he’s remorseful and trying to redeem himself. He was arrested in May 2015.

Sentencing guidelines indicate a range of 63 to 78 months. That maximum is nine months below what prosecutors are seeking.

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