Ignoring court order, police in Kentucky town put mentally ill man on bus to Florida
BY R.G. DUNLOP
Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting May 29, 2015
CARROLLTON — Adam Horine leaned on the courtroom podium, wept and begged.
He called himself "crazy" but insisted he could represent himself. He said he was dying and needed care.
The April 22 hearing before Carroll District Judge Elizabeth Chandler stood out from Horine's many other court appearances over the years for an array of mostly minor offenses.
In a rambling, sometimes confusing dialogue with the judge, Horine, 31, his voice cracking, said he loved Kentucky, but "they are trying to force me out."
Horine was absolutely right. Just hours later, he'd be embarking — alone — on a 900-mile, one-way bus trip to Florida, courtesy of the Carrollton Police Department.
"I should be in the hospital," Horine pleaded with the judge during the hearing. "I have mental illness, and I say things I shouldn't say. But I would never hurt anybody. I never have."
Chandler responded that Horine looked sick, according to a video of the hearing obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. And she questioned his competence to enter a plea to misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and making verbal threats.
She ordered an immediate mental-health examination and transport to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington for a more thorough psychiatric assessment.
Within hours, a social worker's preliminary evaluation at the Carroll County jail determined Horine was hearing voices, felt suicidal, was not sleeping, had no medication and wanted to hurt "certain people."
The next step was Eastern State, where Horine could receive the treatment the social worker and the judge thought he urgently needed.
But Carrollton police had a very different plan for Horine. They wanted him out of town and out of the state. They wanted to rid themselves of this tormented petty criminal. They wanted to make him someone else's problem.
So, just hours after the hearing, a police officer, acting at the direction of police Chief Michael Willhoite, plucked Horine from jail. Officer Ron Dickow drove him 50 miles in a police cruiser to Louisville. Arriving at the Greyhound terminal downtown before dawn, Dickow bought Horine a one-way bus ticket to Florida with money provided by the chief.
Dickow forked over the change — about $18 — to Horine. Then he sent the emotionally troubled man on a 28-hour solitary bus ride to the Sunshine State's west coast.
And in one more bizarre twist, the justice system that sent Horine to Florida had to charge him with a new crime to extradite him to Kentucky. The offense? Escape from jail, a felony.
TLDR: Judge orders mental health evaluation for a defendant, cops say "nah" and put him on a bus to Florida to get him out of town then charge him with escape from jail.