Two Bell County residents filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday alleging malicious prosecution by Barbourville police, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and Kentucky State Police.
Cousins Amanda Hoskins and Jonathan Taylor contend that they lost years of their lives while incarcerated and awaiting trial “for a crime they did not commit,” the lawsuit says. Hoskins, 32, and Taylor, 29, both of Pineville, seek a trial by jury.
They were charged in the robbery and murder of Katherine Mills, 67, who was found dead Dec. 20, 2010, in her home in Flat Lick. Taylor was in jail for five years and Hoskins for three years, the lawsuit says.
But in 2016, charges against them were dismissed, based on changes in testimony of witnesses and the unavailability of others.
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The suit alleges that investigating officers withheld evidence and “fabricated or manipulated evidence of guilt ... including the false statements and false testimony of other witnesses.”
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the city of Barbourville, Knox County, former Barbourville police officer Mike Broughton, former Knox County Sheriff John Pickard, Deputy Derek Eubanks, and state troopers Jason York, Brian Johnson, Mark Mefford, Dallas Eubanks, Kelly Farris, Jackie Pickrell and Jason Bunch, as well as “other unknown officers” for those agencies. Broughton retired as Barbourville police chief in 2014.