A district judge, expressing concern about a rambling, weeping misdemeanor defendant's competence to enter a plea to the charges against him, orders an immediate mental health evaluation followed by transport to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington for a more thorough examination.
A social worker conducting the immediate evaluation concludes the defendant is hearing voices and feeling suicidal. Next stop Eastern State, right?
Not for Adam Horine.
As R.G. Dunlop of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting outlined it in a recent story, Horine's trip from the Carroll County jail to Eastern State involved a long detour, reportedly at the direction of Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite.
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Early April 23, just hours after Carroll District Judge Elizabeth Chandler issued her orders in his case, Horine was picked up at the Carroll County jail by Officer Ron Dickow, who drove Horine to Louisville, bought him a ticket and put him on a bus for a 28-hour ride to Florida.
Admittedly, Horine has had several brushes with the law in Kentucky and in Florida. He's also been confined to mental hospitals at least twice.
But this isn't the Old West. Law enforcement officials who would prefer that a frequent flier such as Horine rack up additional miles in the legal system somewhere else can't just run (or bus) them out of town.
Particularly not in defiance of a judge's order to transport him to Eastern State. Once Horine was charged with a crime, the judicial system assumed control of his case until it was concluded. And when a judge issues an order in such a case, even the police are obliged to heed it, whether or not they agree with it.
When the reality of what happened to Horine became clear, Carroll County Attorney Nick Marsh asked the state attorney general's office to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee an investigation into "allegations of misconduct and other criminal violations" by Willhoite and Dickow. The investigation is ongoing.
Horine eventually made it to Eastern State. But only after being charged with escape from jail, a felony, so he could be extradited from Florida.
Surely, no judge in Kentucky will let this episode become even more Kafkaesque by allowing the "escape" charge to be prosecuted.