Louisville woman framed for murder and locked up at age 16 sues police after recent exoneration

LOUISVILLE, KY – This morning Louisville resident Johnetta Carr sued seven current and former Louisville Metro Police Department officers in federal court for framing her for a murder she did not commit. The detectives are accused of coercing witnesses, fabricating statements, withholding exculpatory evidence, and framing innocent people for crimes they did not commit. 

Ms. Carr, and her attorneys, Elliot Slosar, Amy Robinson Staples, and Molly Campbell, of the civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy, will speak at a 1 PM news conference today, Tuesday, December 8, 2020 via Zoom. 

Johnetta Carr, at the time a 16-year-old, was framed by Louisville Police Officers in spite of significant evidence implicating alternate suspects. Instead of conducting a legitimate investigation, Defendant Tony Finch and other Louisville officers framed Ms. Carr by coercing a false confession from a co-defendant and manufacturing false statements for jailhouse informants.  This is the second wrongful conviction lawsuit filed against Defendant Finch in recent years, as Finch was a named Defendant in Kerry Porter v. City of Louisville, et al., a lawsuit that Loevy & Loevy settled in 2018 for $7,500,000. Like Mr. Porter, Ms. Carr was framed for the 2005 murder of Planes Adolphe in spite of mounting evidence against the true perpetrators.

“Johnetta Carr was framed for a murder that she did not commit,” said Slosar, “and as a result was torn from society as a child.  The misconduct that stole the formative years of Johnetta’s life is not an aberration, but rather, consistent with the pattern and practice of how Louisville officers operate.  When people think of the failed criminal justice system in Louisville, they should say Johnetta Carr’s name just like Kerry Porter, Jeffrey Clark, Edwin Chandler, and all the other innocent men and women framed by a corrupt Louisville Police Department.

Ms. Carr was wrongfully incarcerated at 16, wrongfully convicted at 18, and released from prison at 20 in 2009.  Ms. Carr then languished on parole for the next decade of her life. 

“The Kentucky Innocence Project couldn’t have taken on a more deserving client than Johnetta Carr,” said Campbell. “Despite everything Ms. Carr lost over the years, she never lost hope that she would one day be exonerated. Thanks to KIP she realized that dream last year. Nothing can replace the years and life experiences Ms. Carr lost. But she seeks justice that has been long denied, and seeks to bring attention to wrongful convictions and the many innocent individual who, like her, are imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.”

In 2019, as a result of incredible lawyering and investigation by attorneys at the Kentucky Inncoence Project, Ms. Carr submitted an actual innocence pardon request to Governor Bevin.  On December 9, 2019, Gov. Bevin granted Ms. Carr’s actual innocence pardon request when granting her an absolute pardon.   

Named as individual defendants in the suit are Louisville Police Officers Tony Finch, Gary Huffman, Terry Jones, Jim Lawson, Shawn Seabolt, Troy Pitcock, and James Hellinger.  Institutional defendants are the City of Louisville and Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government.

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, Carr v. City of Louisville, et al., is available here.

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    By RonNeisha D.12.8.2011:30PM

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