Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Rural police officers indicted for banishing mentally ill man on a 900-mile bus trip

A rural Northern Kentucky police chief and a veteran officer were indicted by a grand jury on Monday "for allegedly springing a mentally ill man from jail, putting him on a bus and banishing him to Florida earlier this year," R.G. Dunlop reports for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR). Carrollton (TownMapsUSA map) police chief Michael Willhoite and officer Ron Dickow "are charged with two felony counts, complicity to commit kidnapping and custodial interference, and also official misconduct, a misdemeanor. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison on each felony count and a year imprisonment on the misdemeanor charge."

Additionally, Carroll County sheriff Jamie Kinman "is awaiting trial on charges of official misconduct and tampering with physical evidence," Dunlop writes. Kinman has pleaded not guilty and remains in office. Willhoite and Dickow also pleaded not guilty but were ordered by a judge to "not perform law-enforcement functions or be involved with police-related paperwork while under indictment." Carrollton, which has 3,994 residents, now only has eight active police officers.

"Records and jail surveillance video show that Dickow had removed Horine, a troubled 31-year-old mentally and physically ill man, from the Carroll County Detention Center five weeks earlier in violation of a judge’s order," Dunlop writes. Horine had been ordered to be taken to a hospital in Lexington, but "Dickow—who later said he was acting at Willhoite’s direction—took Horine out of jail before dawn, drove him to Louisville, gave him about $18 and put him on a bus for a 900-mile, one-way trip to Florida," according to an investigation by KyCIR. (Read more)

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