Bell County woman and man framed for murder and locked up
for years in a death penalty case, only to have charges dismissed
LEXINGTON, KY – Cousins Amanda Hoskins and Jonathan Taylor today sued police officers working for the Kentucky State Police, Knox County Sheriff’s Department, and Barbourville Police Department in federal court for framing them for a murder they did not commit. The detectives are accused of coercing witnesses, fabricating statements, falsifying medical records, and destroying evidence.
Ms. Hoskins, Mr. Taylor and one of their attorneys, Elliot Slosar of the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy, will speak at a 2 PM news conference today, Wednesday, April 5 at 2333 Alexandria Drive, Lexington, KY, joined by family and friends.
The alleged motive for the frameup was the desire by police to shield the likeliest suspects, one of whom was a confidential police informant, whose testimony was critical to “solving” several other serious cases. In spite of mounting evidence against the true perpetrators, the detectives conspired amongst themselves to frame Mr. Taylor and Ms. Hoskins for the 2010 murder of Katherine Mills of Flat Lick, KY.
“Ms. Hoskins and Mr. Taylor were framed for a murder that they did not commit,” said Slosar, ”and as a result were torn from their families and incarcerated for a total of 8 years because officers from three different departments fabricated evidence. 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. In the meantime, the police destroyed their lives and left the real perpetrators of these crimes at large in the community.”
Ms. Hoskins’ imprisonment took her away from her children during critical periods of their growth. Ms. Hoskins is the mother of three children, ages 13, 9, and 6 months.
In the summer of 2016, as a result of incredible lawyering and investigating by Ms. Hoskins’ and Mr. Taylor’s legal teams, including attorneys and investigators with the Department of Public Advocacy, the Commonwealth filed a lengthy four-page written motion to dismiss. After being arrested in 2011, the charges against Mr. Taylor were dismissed on June 30, 2016 while those against Ms. Hoskins were dismissed on August 22, 2016.
Named as individual defendants in the suit are Kentucky State Police Detectives Jason York, Brian Johnson, Mark Mefford,
Dallas Eubanks, Kelly Farris, Jackie Pickrell, Jason Bunch, Former Knox County Sheriff John Pickard and Officer Derek Eubanks, and Barbourville Police Officer Mike Broughton. Institutional defendants are Knox County and the City of Barbourville.
Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law is one of the largest civil rights law firms in the country with its main offices in Chicago. Over the past decade, Loevy & Loevy has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country.
A copy of the suit, Hoskins v. Knox County, et al., No. 6:17-cv-00084-DLB, is available here.