Campbell County man framed for murder and locked up for years in a death penalty case, only to be acquitted at trial

LEXINGTON, KY – A man who wasted nearly five years of his life in jail awaiting trial for crimes he didn’t commit, only to finally be acquitted, today sued the Kentucky State Police and Knox County Sheriff’s Department officers who framed him for murder. William Anderson of Campbell County, TN, age 37, accuses the officers of coercing witnesses, fabricating statements, falsifying medical records, and destroying evidence.  

Besides Knox County, individual defendants in the suit are Kentucky State Police Detectives Jason York, Brian Johnson, Mark Mefford, Jackie Joseph, Tyson Lawson, former Knox County Sheriff John Pickard and Officer Derek Eubanks.

The suit alleges multiple cases of egregious misconduct by the defendants, ignoring a likely suspect of the November 23, 2011 murder of Bob Wiggins in Bell County, KY.  In one instance, for example, Kentucky State Police Detective Jason York physically assaulted a witness during an audio-recorded interrogation because that witness refused to falsely implicate Mr. Anderson in the murder.

After nearly five years in custody, on May 25, 2016 a jury acquitted Mr. Anderson, and he was immediately released from custody. Credit for helping secure his release also goes in part to Attorney Jennifer Nagle, who led his legal team.

Mr. Anderson’s imprisonment took his away from his children during critical periods of their growth. He is the father of five children, ages 13, 13, 15 ,17 and 18.

Shockingly, this is the second federal lawsuit in as many months filed against the majority of the defendants in this case.  The other lawsuit also alleges a murder frame-up by police against innocents, and was filed by Loevy & Loevy against Pickard, Eubanks, York, Johnson, Mefford, and Joseph on behalf of Jonathan Taylor and Amanda Hoskins of Knox County.  In that case, the officers framed Mr. Taylor and Ms. Hoskins for the 2010 murder of Katherine Mills in a fashion eerily similar to how they framed Mr. Anderson.

“Mr. Anderson was framed for a murder that he did not commit by officers from the Kentucky State Police and Knox County Sheriff’s Department, who fabricated evidence and coerced witnesses,” said Slosar. “It took nearly five years to unravel the police fraud in a case where Mr. Anderson should never have been arrested in the first place.”

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, William Anderson v. Knox County, et al., No. 17-CV-133, is available here.

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