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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Supreme Court Justices are weighing whether authorities should be held responsible for the death of an 18-year-old informant killed during a police sting gone wrong.
LeBron Gaither testified against alleged drug dealer Jason Noel in 1996. Days later, Kentucky State Police sent him on another drug buy, during which he was killed by Noel.
According to court records, a woman who sat on a Taylor County grand jury the day Gaither testified informed Noel of Gaither's role as a police informant.
The victim's grandmother, Virginia Gaither, has claimed that KSP had a duty to protect Gaither after he agreed to become a drug informant to avoid an assault charge.
Outside the Kentucky Supreme Court Thursday, Virginia Gaither said 17 years after his death she won't stop fighting. "I don't want another innocent child, to be mutilated like he was," she said.
Like Virginia, her lawyer believes Gaither never should have been sent out on another drug buy after his identity was revealed, and that the state police were negligent in his death."You don't reveal the identity of your confidential informant unless you look forward to attending his funeral service," said Dan Taylor.
Kentucky State Police say during Gaither's last drug sting, he was ordered to not get into the car with Noel, but he did. He was given a "safe" word, but he never used it.
Attorney's for state police told the justice's on Thursday that it was the man who shot Gaither, and the grand juror who revealed his identity, who were to blame. "That in no way is unethical, maybe a bad decision after the fact but it's not unethical and it's not unlawful," said Lyndol Miller, Attorney for state police.
The Kentucky Supreme Court will release their decision on the matter by November 21, 2013 at the earliest.