LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) – A former Kentucky police officer charged with the 1994 murder of two Oak Grove prostitutes has filed a federal wrongful incarceration lawsuit against the investigator who helped put him behind bars.
Edward Carter claims he spent three years in jail awaiting trial because of a “profoundly shoddy” investigation by Kentucky State Police Officer Jason Newby, who concealed facts, “fabricated conclusions” and falsely charged him with murder, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court.
Carter was acquitted by a jury last year. Newby, now an officer with the Hopkinsville police department, could not be immediately reached for comment.
In 1994, Carter was working as a police officer for Oak Grove in Christian County and as a part-time custodian at a local massage parlor.
In the suit, Carter acknowledges that the business, New Life Massage Parlor, was a “front for prostitution.”
On Sept. 20, 1994, Carter left the massage parlor at about 3 a.m., the suit claims. About 45 minutes later, employees found two workers shot and stabbed in one of the message rooms.
Both 18-year-old Gloria Ross and 22-year-old Candace Belt died.
Carter, in his role as a police officer, was initially called to the scene with his canine unit, the suit claims. The case was not immediately solved and went cold.
In 2006, Kentucky State Police began investigating the case and Newby took it over in 2011.
In 2013, according to the suit, Newby told a Christian County grand jury that it was “common knowledge” Carter wanted to take over the massage parlor and called a man named Jason Black to kill the women. The suit called this a “fabricated call” and said there is no evidence Carter contacted Black.
Black was also found not guilty of the murders.
Newby also allegedly told the grand jury that Carter’s wife said he washed his clothes when he got home that morning, “which she thought was very odd,” according to the lawsuit. But Newby never interviewed Carter’s wife, according to the suit.
Carter was indicted on a murder charge and was incarcerated from Nov. 24, 2013 until Sept. 14, 2016, when he was acquitted at trial.
Claims made in filing a lawsuit present only one side of the case.
According to a CNN story, three years after the killings, then-Councilwoman Patty Balew announced that she was a former prostitute at the massage parlor. She and other prostitutes gave police sexual favors at a discount or at no cost, she alleged.
The lawsuit, filed by Louisville attorney Garry Adams, is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.
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