A Bourbon County grand jury has indicted the Bourbon County jailer and his deputy on a number of charges, including some stemming from allegations that staffers tampered with documents related to the death of an inmate.
Jailer Tony Horn has been charged with two counts of tampering with public records, a class D felony, and two counts of first-degree official misconduct, a class A misdemeanor. Chief Deputy Jailer Sandy Dotson has been charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence, a class D felony, and one count of official misconduct.
Tuesday's indictments come nearly a month after state police executed a search warrant at the jail.
At the time, police said they were investigating narcotics "improperly stored or held"; reports that inmates had a cell phone and were "making inappropriate phone calls while on work release"; and the circumstances surrounding the death of Daniel Trimble, an inmate who committed suicide in February. Trimble's mother, Charlene Morris, told the Herald-Leader the indictments gave her "a sense of relief."
"That's all I wanted — justice for Daniel," Morris said, "because it just wasn't right the way he died."
The indictment says Horn ordered the destruction of e-mails after Trimble's death with "the intent to impair the e-mails' availability for use in the official proceeding."
Horn faxed a fabricated document to the Department of Corrections in February "believing that an official proceeding was pending," according to the indictment.
It also says that on April 27 Horn did not investigate or report to the Department of Corrections when he was told of the disappearance of 30 methadone pills. And, on July 16, Horn allowed an inmate who was charged with first-degree robbery to be on work release without a court order.
Dotson is accused of ordering a deputy jailer to create a false observation call record document after Trimble's death. She is also accused of concealing a file related to the death investigation. Dotson was also failing to investigate or report the disappearance of methadone pills.
Neither Dotson nor Horn could be reached for comment. A supervisor at the jail said Dotson has been on vacation for the past week. Horn was not at the jail Tuesday afternoon.
Their employment status was unclear.
Horn and Dotson are scheduled to appear in Bourbon Circuit Court at 1 p.m. Oct. 14.
The indictments came a day after the family buried Trimble's ashes in the Paris cemetery.
His ashes had been in a box resting on an end table in his sister's apartment because the family was saving up for the burial. A Morris family member said a Paris resident recently offered to pay for the funeral expenses.
Trimble's mother and sister have been searching for answers ever since his death. The family conceded that Trimble had problems, but said he didn't deserve to die. Also, they felt like the jail could have stepped in to help him before his death.
Jail officials sent Trimble to the Comprehensive Care Center for a mental evaluation after he tried to slit his wrists, according to documents filed in Bourbon Circuit Court.
In a letter to a judge last fall, a psychologist said that Trimble was a high-risk inmate who had been having paranoid delusions and that "jail staff should be aware of the possibility that he would use anything he has in his possession as a weapon against himself."
But on Feb. 15, Trimble was found dead in his cell. Trimble's family and their attorney said they were told Trimble was found hanging from a bed sheet and died from asphyxiation.
"We have every hope that justice will be done so that this doesn't happen again," said Louisville attorney Michael Cooper. "The fact that these individuals have been indicted would also appear to be evidence that proper procedure was not followed and this failure resulted in a young man's death."