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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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Full length basketball court with fresh surfacing and paint job. 

LOUISA -- "I want to thank everyone that participated in getting the newly renovated basketballcourt done," Louisa mayor harold Slone said. "We got a grant to pay for most of the cost. But as part of the deal we had to engage the community ... and put in some sweat equity ourselves. Well we have done that... Matt Brown has partnered with me to start Louisa Hoops For Hope..."

"His RiseAbove crew volunteered to put up the goals... and the City Employee's went above and beyond to do this work," Slone added. "While these guys were doing this, others had to cover their positions so they could.. The city crews became a team and look what they accomplished... hats off to all that helped...A special thanks to City Council for supporting this project grant... without everyone it couldn't have been possible..."

The city park has been dramatically improved under Slone's leadership including renovation of the 50 year old seimming pool and new playground equipment.

County Economic Development Ccodinator Catrina Vargo said this is the type of thing that will help Louisa bring in prospective companies to the county.

"By having more activities for families we can more easily asttract small business that are looking for a place," Vargo said.

LEVISA LAZER EXCLUSIVE: VIDEO OF POLICE ALTERCATION INCIDENT AT LOUISA POLICE DEPARTMENT IN CITY HALL THAT LED TO THE DEATH BILLY COLLINS.

CENSORED!

THIS VIDEO CONTAINS LANGUAGE AND VIOLENCE NOT SUITABLE FOR UNDER AGE CHILDREN

This is a still picture from the actual body cam video that shows the officer tasing Billy Collins while he was down. Not meant for viewing by small children or people with weak stomachs.

 Click picture for seven minute body cam video.

AUTOPSY SAYS COLLINS SUFFERED MASSIVE BODILY INJURIES BUT WAS NEVER SHOWN TO LAWRENCE COUNTY GRAND JURY IN NOVEMBER 2015.

LAWRENCE COUNTY CORONER SAYS ANNA MELVIN'S OFFICE NEVER CONTACTED HIM FOR ANY DOCUMENTS HE HAD ON THE CASE; CALLS GRAND JURY PROCESS ON COLLINS CASE A "RUSH JOB" 

SINCE JANUARY 1, 2015 TO JUNE 7, 2016:

* 1,582 AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE DIED AT THE HANDS OF U.S. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES.
* 51 AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE DIED IN OVERSEAS IN TERRORIST ATTACKS.
* 68 AMERICAN POLICE OFFICERS HAVE BEEN MURDERED IN THE LINE OF DUTY (OUT OF 171 TOTAL LINE OF DUTY DEATHS).
* 39 AMERICAN POLICE DOGS HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY.


JUNE 7, 2016 - written by WADE QUEEN

A lawsuit that was filed May 20 in Lawrence Circuit Court over the beating and taser death of Billy Collins last year by the Estate of Billy Collins Jr. (Son of Billy Collins) against Louisa officer Steve Wilburn, The Louisa Police Department, The Lawrence County Sheriff's Dept. and The City of Louisa; has led to exclusive access via the Collins family and their legal representation to the body camera video of the entire incident at the Louisa Police station as well as the state coroner's report that shows his death as a homicide, a report that was never revealed by the Kentucky State Police nor Commonwealth Attorney Anna Melvin's office to the Lawrence County Grand Jury this past November 2015.

The merit information on the lawsuit and other details regarding the Collins death case can be read HERE.

 

This death certificate for Billy Collins says plainly that his death was a homicide due to heart disease physical struggle. 


The body camera video of the police altercation shows that Billy Collins was severely beaten by four police officers involved (Louisa police officers Stephen Wilburn and Jordan Miller, and Lawrence County deputies Mason Keefer and Mack Wilhite), with their police batons, as well as being punched with their hands. Collins was struck numerous times with a police baton stick by deputy Mason Keefer himself.

In addition, Billy Collins was struck with tasers by the officers five to as many as seven times, and possibly more, with just before one of the taser shots Collins raising his hands in surrender. Throughout the entire video, there was no evidence that Billy Collins struck or tried to strike any of the four police officers involved. The video shows that Collins was just hanging on to whatever he could find in the police station and would not let loose. 

During all this episode on the video, all of the officers can be heard yelling extensive amount of obscenities and profanities at Billy Collins. Collins also cursed at the officers

Coincidentally, there was no video made of Billy Collins actual arrest at the Lawrence County high school area by officer Steven Wilburn, with eyewitnesses stating that Wilburn never placed handcuffs on Collins when he arrested him and then placed him in his police cruiser to be taken to the Louisa Police Station.

In addition to the police video, the Levisa Lazer also got access to a copy of the Kentucky State Medical Examiners's autopsy report on Billy Collins. It lists the cause of death of Collins as a 'homicide'. It further states the death by homicide was caused by "altercation with police". The death certificated also lists Billy Collins heart problems.

In the medical examiner's report, there is a compiled list of the injuries on Billy Collins body and they are listed as numerous lacerations, bruises, a cut down eyebrow, five or six broken ribs, abrasions, five places with electrical barb contusions, and multiple abdominal adhesions and injuries to his thigh and arm bones and to his head in the back and front.

In regards of the state coroners medical report on Billy Collins, the Levisa Lazer contacted Lawrence County Coroner Mike Wilson who also listed the death as a homicide on the official death certificate.

Wilson further stated Commonwealth's Attorney Anna Melvin never sought any information from him or his coroner's office. Wilson added, "I still have never been contacted by Anna Melvin's office regarding any documents that I have on this case."

"If they hadn’t pushed it through the grand jury without all the facts it would have been a lot different," Wilson said.

June 2, 2016

Construction work should fix the slippage problem to well traveled road

Torchlight Road got the attention it has been needing to fix a slip along the right side of the highway where several dozen residents live. Lazer photo by Tane' Woods 

TORCHLIGHT, Ky. -- For some time now, residents that reside or use Torchlight road have made complaints about the condition of their road. There is no exact number of how many people who live along the road, just off Rt. 23 up the hill where Hylton Taxidermy was once located, but it is safe to say dozens at least.

Daisy Vanhoose, an elderly lady who lives in the last house at the end of the road for one is mighty glad county workers finally got the road fixed.

"This is the only way in or out of this place and it keeps slipping off over the hill every time they bring gravel," Ms. Vanhoose said. "This is what it needed all the time and we're really thankful it is done and we can feel safer."

She said she has to go to doctor's appointments at least once per month and the person who drives her told her last week that the road would not be passable too much longer, she said.

After two recent attempts in placing gravel in the slip, County workers feel as if it is finally finished with the work the construction company has done today. 

E & E Construction, Inc. out of Prestonsburg has worked on the road at Torchlight all day, and company officials decided that the solution was to knock down part of the cliff on the opposite side of the 6 foot slip and widen the road, also filling in the large slip.

Lawrence Fiscal Court had approved funding for the job months ago but the work  has been delayed by rainy weather.

An attempt was made to speak with County Road Foreman Michael Compton, but he had just left the job site and wasn't in the office.

Judge/Executive John Osborne said he is glad the road finally got fixed. "This has been approved for quite a while and I'm glad they finally got it done," Osborne said. "There's a lot of people who use this road every day."

The answer to fix the problem was taking part of the hillside opposite to the slip off and widening the road.

JUNE 3, 2016

Negligent training claimed in wrongful death lawsuit

LPD Sergeant Steven Wilburn, Louisa Mayor Harold Slone and Police Chief Greg Fugitt are all part of a potential $million wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim's family in an incident last year when Billy Collins was tasered and suffered a heart attack and died while in police custody.LOUISA, Ky. -- A lawsuit that has been anticipated by many in Lawrence County was filed May 20 in Lawrence Circuit Court over the taser death of Billy Collins, Jr. last year.

The Estate of Billy Collins, Jr. (Son of Billy Joseph Collins) filed a lawsuit against LPD officer Steve Wilburn, The Louisa Police Department, The Lawrence County Sheriff's Dept. and The City of Louisa.

According to the lawsuit filed on May 20th, 2016, against the following people and agencies for “ALLEGEDLY CAUSING THE DEATH OF BILLY COLLINS, officer Stephen Wilburn, officer Jordan Miller, Chief Greg Fugitt, Sheriff Garrett Roberts, deputy Mason Keefer, deputy Mack Wilhite, The Louisa Police Dept., The City of Louisa, and The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, were all named in the complaint.

The lawsuit says Steven Wilburn on or about May 29th was acting both individually and/or in his capacity as agent/ servant or employee of the Louisa Police Department and/or the city of Louisa Kentucky. He is individually liable and the Louisa City Police (hereinafter police department) are vicariously liable for the death of Billy Collins.

Billy Collins Billy J. Collins 56, of Louisa was arrested by Sgt. Wilburn and charged with Driving on a Suspended Kentucky Operator's License, Failure to Maintain Insurance and Disorderly Conduct on graduation night 2015 at LCHS. Collins was then transported to the Louisa Police Department where he reportedly refused to comply with the officer’s commands.

Sergeant Wilburn called for assistance when he (Mr. Collins) became combative striking Wilburn multiple times. Collins fled into the foyer area in the police department and barricaded himself inside the facility.

Additional officers with the Louisa police department and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene to assist. It was there that Collins, after failing to comply with commands was tasered several times in the altercation. Officers requested EMS to respond to the police department but prior to their arrival Collins begin exhibiting signs of a medical emergency. Netcare EMS provided medical assistance and transported Collins to Three Rivers Medical Center where he later died.

Billy Joseph Collins, Jr. the natural son and administrator of the estate of Billy Collins,  filed suit complaining that Steven Wilburn of the Louisa City Police is individually liable for the death of his father. His lawsuit claims that Greg Fugitt is also liable for the negligent training and supervision of Wilburn and other police officer defendant Jordan Miller.  Sheriff Garrett Roberts is named in the lawsuit as he is the elected Sheriff of Lawrence County and responsible for his employees, deputies Keefer & Wilhite, and their negligent training and supervision or monitoring.

Both Roberts and Fugitt have a duty to maintain the current necessary prescribed training in regard to use of all types of force, including but not limited to the use of taser electrical conductive weapons, the lawsuit says. Fugitt allegedly breached his duty in this regard and that breach of duty was a proximate cause of the death of Billy Collins. The defendants are all jointly and severally liable as they were at all times acting together in complicity with each other without probable cause to the United States Constitution in both beating and negligent use of an electrical conductive weapon. (Tasing) 

Allegedly while in the custody of the Louisa City Police Department and those other named defendants, Louisa City Police Officers and Lawrence County Sheriff's Office deputies use of force against decedent was willful, negligent, grossly negligent, excessive and caused his death. The city of Louisa is vicariously liable under the doctrine of superior for the acts of Chief Fugitt and all of the other defendants were acting under color of law pursuant to KRS - 344. The city of Louisa is liable for their negligent training and supervision are their police officers and employees. 

The plaintiff,  Billy Joseph Collins as administrator of the estate of Billy Collins Jr. Demands a judgment against the defendants jointly and severely in an amount for which the proof will show tentative damages and for attorney's fees and for a trial by jury. The Collins estate is represented by Michael Curtis of Ashland, Ky.

A Kentucky State Police investigation into the incident resulted in no indictments when taken before a Lawrence Co. grand jury six months after the incident because of "lack of evidence". The KSP did not have autopsy results at the time the grand jury heard the evidence which included a video taken with a body camera by the police. The KSP refused to allow The Lazer to view the evidence including the video because, they said, "the autopsy is still not complete and the case is open".

The autopsy is now complete and Collin's son, Joe, said he will turn them over to The Lazer for publication when he gets permission from his attorneys.

The amount of insurance carried by the city and the county is not known. City Attorney Eldred "Bud" Adams and county attorney Mike Hogan were not available for comment tonight.

 A lawsuit outlines only one side of a case.

JUNE 2, 2106 

 24 arrested in Lawrence County during past nine days

 

For the month of May 2016; 386 arrested individuals were brought into the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, Kentucky. Out of the 386 arrested individuals brought to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in May, 70 of those arrests were from Lawrence County.

From 12:01 A.M. May 23, 2014 to 11:59 P.M. May 31, 2016; 118 arrested individuals were brought into the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, Kentucky. Out of the 118 arrested individuals brought to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in that 9 day period, 24 arrests were from Lawrence County. Those 24 individuals arrested are the following:

Ernest R. DanielsErnest R.. Daniels, 29, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky; was arrested on May 23, 2016 at 11:49 A.M., by deputy Charlie Curnette of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • SERVING BENCH WARRANT FOR COURT; where upon he was sentence by the court to serve a 30 day jail sentence.



 


Kevin MuncyKevin Muncy, 30, of Fort Gay, West Virginia; was arrested May 23, 2016 at 2:57 P.M., by sergeant Ed Cordle of the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELTS • OPERATING ON SUSPENDED OR REVOKED OPERATORS LICENSE.

 

 

Danny T. SescoDanny T. Sesco, 48, of Wellston, Ohio; was arrested on May 24, 2016 at 11:49 A.M., by deputy Charlie Curnette of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • SERVING THREE BENCH WARRANTS FOR COURT; where after Danny T. Sesco was booked at Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, he was picked up for the three warrants out of Pike County, Kentucky (2 warrants for non-payment of fines, the third for failure to appear) at 5:41 P.M. by deputy Finas King of the Pike County Sheriff Department, where after he was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center, where he remains without bond until he appears at a later date before a judge.

Gary H. MillsGary H, Mills, 48, of Auxier, Kentucky; was arrested on May 24, 2016 at 2:39 P.M., by chief deputy Mark Wheeler of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • UNLAWFUL IMPRISONMENT - 2ND DEGREE.

 

 

 

James R. ParsonsJames R. Parsons, 47, of Fort Gay, West Virginia; was arrested May 24, 2016 at 7:37 P.M., by sergeant Ed Cordle of the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELTS • OPERATING ON SUSPENDED OR REVOKED OPERATORS LICENSE, • FAILURE OF OWNER TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED INSURANCE/SECURITY, 1ST OFFENSE, • SERVING BENCH WARRANT FOR COURT, • SERVING WARRANT (FOR OTHER POLICE AGENCY).
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Jason L. ShortJason L. Short, 36, of Louisa, was arrested on May 24, 2016 at 8:04 P.M., by deputy Mason Keefer of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE 1ST DEGREE, • PERSISTENT FELONY OFFENDER II, • WANTON ENDANGERMENT-1ST DEGREE-POLICE OFFICER, • FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE, 1ST DEGREE (MOTOR VEHICLE), • PERSISTENT FELONY OFFENDER I, • FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE, 1ST DEGREE (MOTOR VEHICLE), • WANTON ENDANGERMENT-1ST DEGREE, • PERSISTENT FELONY OFFENDER II.


Dustin A. WilliamsDustin A. Williams, 28, of Louisa, was arrested on May 24, 2016 at 11:24 P.M., by deputy Mason Keefer of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • ASSAULT, 4TH DEGREE (DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) NO VISIBLE INJURY.

 

 

 

 

Arthur A. Holbrook IIIArthur Albin Holbrook III, 29, of Louisa, turned himself in May 25, 2016 at 3:12 P.M., to the Lawrence County Sheriff Department to serve a jail sentence with: CONTEMPT OF COURT LIBEL/SLANDER RESISTANCE TO ORDER.



 

 

 

Norma Jean MillsNorma Jean Mills, 46, of Inez, Kentucky; was arrested on May 25, 2016 at 8:35 P.M., by chief deputy Mark Wheeler of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • TRAFFICKING IN CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, 1ST DEGREE, 1ST OFFENSE - (< 10 D.U. OPIATES).

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Brandi MillsBrandi L. Mills, 32, of Louisa, was arrested on May 26, 2016 at 7:45 P.M., by Lawrence County constable Paul Wells, and was charged with: • NO REGISTRATION PLATES, • FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELTS, • FAILURE OF OWNER TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED INSURANCE/SECURITY, 2ND OFFENSE, • OPERATING ON SUSPENDED OR REVOKED OPERATORS LICENSE.



 

Ian K. VanhornIan K. Vanhorn, 28, of Louisa, was arrested on May 26, 2016 at 7:45 P.M., by deputy Mason Keefer of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • NO REGISTRATION PLATES, • FAILURE OF OWNER TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED INSURANCE/SECURITY, 2ND OFFENSE, • OPERATING ON SUSPENDED OR REVOKED OPERATORS LICENSE, • OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/ DRUGS/ETC. .08 (AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE), 2ND OFFENSE.

 

Regan YoungRegan L. Young, 42, of Louisa, turned himself in May 27, 2016 at 11:53 A.M., to the Lawrence County Sheriff Department to serve a jail sentence with: CONTEMPT OF COURT LIBEL/SLANDER RESISTANCE TO ORDER.



 

 


Jeremy P. SmithJeremy P. Smith, 36, of Louisa, turned himself in May 27, 2016 at 12:18 P.M., to the Lawrence County Sheriff Department to serve a jail sentence with: CONTEMPT OF COURT LIBEL/SLANDER RESISTANCE TO ORDER.



 

 

Arkale B. MolletteArkale B. Mollette, 43, of Tomahawk, Kentucky; was arrested on May 27, 2016 at 7:54 P.M., by a deputy of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • PRESCRIPTION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE NOT PROPER CONTAINER 1ST OFFENSE, • GIVING OFFICER FALSE NAME OR ADDRESS, • PUBLIC INTOXICATION-CONTROLLED SUB (EXCLUDES ALCOHOL), • POSSESSION CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, 2ND DEGREE - DRUG UNSPECIFIED.

 

 

Gregory R. MitchellGregory R. Mitchell, 30, of Louisa, was arrested May 27, 2016 at 9:35 P.M., by patrolman officer Hunter James of the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • SERVING TWO WARRANTS (FOR OTHER POLICE AGENCY)



 

 

Joel D. StevensJoel D. Stevens, 58, of Louisa, was arrested on May 27, 2016 at 9:35 P.M., by a deputy of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • DRIVING ON DUI SUSPENDED LICENSE -1ST OFFENSE, • NO TAIL LAMPS.

 

 

 


Gary W. EinfeldtGary W. Einfeldt, 47, of Fort Gay, West Virginia; was arrested on May 27, 2016 at 9:35 P.M., by an officer with the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON

 

 

 


Bringham A. VanhornBringham A. Vanhorn, 51, of Louisa, was arrested on May 28, 2016 at 6:34 P.M., by officer Jordan Miller of the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 1ST OFFENSE

 

 

 

John SwordJohn Sword, 40, of Louisa, was arrested on May 29, 2016 at 12:14 A.M., by Lawrence County constable Paul Wells, and was charged with: • OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 1ST OFFENSE, • OPERATING ATV ON ROADWAY, • OPERATING ON SUSPENDED OR REVOKED OPERATORS LICENSE.

 

 

Nicole L. MaynardNicole L. Maynard, 37, of Louisa, was arrested on May 29, 2016 at 2:31 P.M., by chief deputy Mark Wheeler of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • CRIMINAL TRESPASSING-2ND DEGREE, • FLEEING OR EVADING POLICE, 2ND DEGREE (ON FOOT).



 

 


Danny JohnsonDanny Johnson, 24, of Kermit, West Virginia; was arrested on May 30, 2016 at 8:02 P.M., by an officer with the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • SERVING WARRANT (FOR OTHER POLICE AGENCY).



 

 

Joseph PorterJoseph Porter, 30, of Genoa, West Virginia; was arrested on May 31, 2016 at 7:17 P.M., by an officer with the Louisa Police Department, and was charged with: • SERVING BENCH WARRANT FOR COURT



 

 

 

Randall V ThompsonRandall V. Thompson, 52, of Huntington, West Virginia; was arrested on May 31, 2016 at 7:27 P.M., by deputy Mason Keefer of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY UNDER/$10,000.

 

 

 

 

Kimberly MaynardKimberly Maynard, 18, of Louisa, was arrested on May 31, 2016 at 9:55 P.M., by Sheriff Garrett Roberts of the Lawrence County Sheriff Department, and was charged with: • NO REGISTRATION RECEIPT, • FAILURE TO PRODUCE INSURANCE CARD, • FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELTS, • OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 1ST OFFENSE• SPEEDING 26 MPH OR > SPEED LIMIT, • FAILURE TO PRODUCE INSURANCE CARD, • NO OPERATORS-MOPED LICENSE, • FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELTS.