Lawsuit: 39 Years of Police Cover-up Sent Man to Prison

Todd County, Kentucky and Kentucky State Troopers Falsified Evidence, Withheld Exonerating Evidence To Frame Norman Graham

BOWLING GREEN, KY – Attorneys for 74-year-old Clarksville, TN resident Norman Graham today filed suit in federal court here challenging nearly four decades of law enforcement harassment and arrests without probable cause that eventually sent him to prison for crimes he didn’t commit.

Graham was finally exonerated on December 26, 2019 after the Commonwealth’s attorney motioned that the charges against him should be dropped and the Todd County Circuit Court agreed.

County and state police developed strong evidence suggesting three other possible suspects for the 1980 murder for which Graham was arrested, but they suppressed that evidence from prosecutors and Graham’s defense attorneys. One of those suspects, who was later convicted of being a serial killer, lived in the same trailer park as the victim and was witnessed leaving her trailer with blood on his clothes and body. That evidence was suppressed.

Another suspect was dating the victim and his car was seen in the trailer park by witnesses on the day of the murder. That evidence was suppressed.

A third male suspect had traded addresses with the victim – his address was found in her purse. That evidence was suppressed.

At the conclusion of one of his many interrogations, Graham voluntarily provided samples to the defendants, including a semen sample. In their quest to frame him for the crime, officers planted Mr. Graham’s semen on a jumpsuit found at the crime scene that had previously tested negative for semen.

On the first day of Mr. Graham’s first trial in September 1981, the Commonwealth’s Attorney dismissed the rape charge against him, conceding that he had no evidence linking Graham to that charge. Graham’s trial for murder ended in a hung jury.

According to today’s suit,

Although not found guilty during the first trial, Mr. Graham was forced to spend the next 25 years looking over his shoulder as the Defendant Officers herein continued in their quest to frame and prosecute him despite his innocence. In 2007, at age sixty, Mr. Graham’s nightmares once again came true, when he was arrested and wrongfully charged a second time.

He was found guilty of both rape and murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Mr. Graham is represented by Michael Kanovitz, Elliot Slosar, Amy Robinson Staples and Margaret Campbell of the Chicago-based civil rights law firm Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy is one of the nation’s largest civil rights law firms and has won more multi-million-dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the country.

A copy of the suit, Norman Graham v. Todd County, The Estate of Todd County Sheriff Laurin Morris, in his individual capacity; Kentucky State Police Officers, in their individual capacities, the Estate of Vernon Albro, Robert Miller, the Estate of Larry Bolligner, A. Bell, Scott Smith, the Estate of Steven Silfies; and other unknown Kentucky State Police supervisors, can be found here.

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