NOT GUILTY: Jury clears Carrollton Police officers of all charge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

NOT GUILTY: Jury clears Carrollton Police officers of all charges

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Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite on the witness stand in court Monday. Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite on the witness stand in court Monday.

CARROLTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- A jury in Carroll County has found two Carrollton Police officers not guilty of all charges.

Chief Mike Willhoite and Officer Ron Dickow had been accused of defying a judge's order to take inmate to Eastern State last April, instead putting him on a bus to Florida.

But a jury found them not guilty of all charges Tuesday afternoon, after roughly an hour of deliberation.

Attorneys began making closing arguments late Tuesday morning. 

The two admitted to putting Horine on the bus, but said it was because of a misunderstanding.

Dickow said he was just following orders from Willhoite. 

"What matters to Ron Dickow is he was told to go and he did," said Dickow's attorney, Rob Riley, earlier today.

The day before the alleged events happened, a judge rejected a plea deal that would have sent Horine out of state. Horine was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

During the trial, Riley says Willhoite tried to place blame on Dickow. 

"This could've been prevented if the chief had stepped up," Riley said. 

Riley closed by telling the jury that Dickow "made a mistake but he didn't commit a crime."

Chief Willhoite testified he didn't know the deal had been shot down. In closing arguments, Willhoite's attorney, Greg McDowell, told jurors there's no proof that Willhoite knew the judge didn't approve the plea deal sending mentally ill inmate, Adam Horine out of state.

McDowell says the jury shouldn't convict Willhoite for making a mistake. "A mistake is not intentional," McDowell said. "A mistake is a mistake."

In her closing argument, Prosecutor Shawna Kincer told jurors it was intentional. 

"Ignorance is not a defense to the law," Kincer said. "This was more than a mistake. It was intentional."

Kincer closed with "it was blatant and it was criminal and they are not above the law."

"Those people (the jury) saw through it," said Dickow's attorney Rob Riley. "They saw that it was a mistake. They saw that it wasn't some big giant conspiracy."

"From the moment I found out the chief was charged," said Willhoite's attorney, Greg McDowell. "I've known him for a long. It's just outside of his character. I knew he wouldn't do anything like this."


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