LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Two Pineville, Ky., residents have filed a federal lawsuit accusing Kentucky State Police and other officers of attempting to frame them for the murder of a Knox County woman in 2010.
Cousins Amanda Hoskins and Jonathan Taylor claim officers from the state police agency, the Barbourville Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office “knowingly initiated false charges” based on fabricated evidence.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in London, also names the local governments of Barbourville and Knox County as defendants.
Hoskins and Taylor are represented by the Chicago law firm of Loevy & Loevy. One of the firm’s attorneys, Elliot Slosar, previously worked with the Kentucky Innocence Project on the case of William Virgil, who spent 28 years in prison before a judge dropped charges against him earlier this year.
“It took five years to unravel the police fraud and show that Ms. Hoskins and Mr. Taylor should never have been arrested in the first place,” Slosar said in a press release. “In the meantime, the police destroyed their lives and left the real perpetrators of these crimes at large in the community.”
Hoskins and Taylor spent a total of eight years in jail in connection with the murder of Katherine Mills of Flat Lick, Ky., before the charges against them were dismissed, according to the lawsuit.
They allege in court documents that the officers who investigated Mills’ death “conspired to frame” them despite evidence that implicated two other people, including a police informant.
The lawsuit outlines wide-ranging allegations by law enforcement officers to connect Hoskins and Taylor to the murder instead of other men who failed polygraph tests about their role in the murder. In one instance, the lawsuit claims, officers promised the informant , Allen Helton, that he would not go to jail “as long as he agreed to go along with the false and fabricated statement that they manufactured for him.”
It also accuses officers of altering Hoskins’ medical records to support Helton’s statement and alleges that former Knox County Sheriff John Pickard and a state police officer promised to “sweep” a man’s drug cases “under the rug” in 2012 if he tied Hoskins and Taylor to the crime.
Hoskins and Taylor are seeking a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.
Besides Pickard, other defendants named in the lawsuit are Barbourville police officer Mike Broughton; Derek Eubanks, a former member of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office; and Jason York, Brian Johnson, Mark Mefford, Dallas Eubanks, Kelly Farris, Jackie Pickrell and Jason Bunch of Kentucky State Police.
Phone messages and emails seeking comment from those named in the lawsuit were not immediately returned on Wednesday. WDRB News was unable to reach some of the defendants.
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