Singer Paycheck sentenced to jail

HILLSBORO, Ohio -- Country singer Johnny Paycheck, best known for his 1978 hit record 'Take This Job And Shove It,' was sentenced Monday to serve from seven to nine and one-half years in prison for a barroom shooting.

Paycheck, 50, was taken away in handcuffs after being sentenced by Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Darrell Hottle.


Paycheck, a native of nearby Greenfield who now lives in Cadiz, Ky., was convicted in 1986 of aggravated assault and tampering with evidence. The singer, whose real name is Donald Lytle, shot and wounded Larry Wise, 40, of Greenfield, in a Hillsboro bar on Dec. 19, 1985. Wise suffered a minor scalp wound.

Paycheck was sentenced immediately after his May 16, 1986, jury conviction, but that sentence was tossed out by an appeals court on grounds that Paycheck did not receive a proper sentencing hearing.

The sentence that Paycheck received Monday following a sentencing hearing was identical to the one Hottle gave him in 1986.

On the assault conviction, Paycheck was sentenced to two and one-half to five years, to be served after a mandatory three years, as dictated by Ohio law because a gun was used in the crime. Paycheck was sentenced to one and one-half years for tampering with evidence. All sentences are to run consecutively.


Paycheck admitted at his trial that he shot Wise at the North High Lounge, but contended it was an accident.

'I didn't mean to shoot nobody,' Paycheck testified. He claimed Wise and another bar patron had been bothering him and that Wise had threatened him with a beer bottle.

'He was coming right at me,' said Paycheck. 'I was beginning to fear for my life. I wasn't pulling the gun to shoot the man. I was pulling the gun to scare him. My thumb slipped on thehammer. I didn't mean to shoot that man. I just wanted to scare him and shoot at the ceiling.'

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