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Kentucky Lawsuits against Sheriff Rick Clemons, ex-Det. Terry Blanton allege false arrests, illegal searches

Discussion in 'Incidents of Police Abuse, Misconduct, Negligence' started by M, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. M

    M Muckraker

    Perps: ex-Detective Terry Blanton, Sheriff Rick Clemons

    Victims: Marchmond Cottrell, John McGuffin, Hope Shelburne

    Department: Grayson County Sheriff's Office

    Lodcation: Grayson County, Leitchfield, Kentucky

    Blanton  Terry.jpg
    Grayson County ex-Detective Terry Blanton Mug Shot
    Grayson County News Gazette: Lawsuit filed against Sheriff, former Detective (Aug 2 2013)

    Two lawsuits surfaced recently against Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons and former Detective Terry Blanton, each asking for compensation of more than ten million dollars. The suits, both filed in June of this year, allege that monetary, psychological, physical and dignitary damages were caused by unlawful acts committed by Blanton and overlooked by Clemons in 2011. The two men filing the claims were Marchmond Cottrell, of Grayson County, and John McGuffin, of Butler County. The suits were filed separately, but the two men are each being represented by Hardin Law Offices.

    John McGuffin lawsuit vs. ex-Detective Terry Blanton:

    According to court documents filed with the U.S. District Court’s Western District of Kentucky, McGuffin has accused Blanton of arresting him unlawfully on March 15, 2011 and again on March 16, 2011 at which time McGuffin’s lawyer states that Blanton, along with other members of the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) and Butler County Sheriff’s Office, arrived at McGuffin’s property “with guns drawn” and entered his home without permission, searching it without a warrant to do so.

    The complaint accuses the officers of seizing seven thousand dollars and various prescriptions, each of which McGuffin says were legally in his possession. Furthermore, Blanton is accused of never entering the seized items into the GCSO’s evidence locker, which he was in charge of at the time.

    McGuffin believes that these issues arose from his romantic involvement with one of Blanton’s confidential informants, Hope Shelburne, according to the court records. In the complaint, McGuffin also accuses Blanton of having an “inappropriate sexual relationship” with Shelburne at the time.

    The complaint goes on to state that McGuffin’s was not the only incident that involved Blanton “alleging false accusations against those persons engaged in a romantic relationship with Shelburne.”

    McGuffin was incarcerated from March 16 until May 24 of 2011 on charges of trafficking in narcotics, though the charge was dismissed on August 7, according to the lawsuit. At the time these charges were filed, McGuffin was on probation from an earlier charge of wanton endangerment. Due to the arrest, his probation was revoked and he was forced to serve the balance of his sentence from that charge, states the paperwork.

    John McGuffin lawsuit vs. Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons:

    McGuffin’s case against Clemons accuses the Sheriff of turning “a blind eye to the rampant malfeasance and unconstitutional behavior of Blanton,” who “should have been supervised by his commanding officer.” Also, the paperwork states that because Blanton’s alleged conduct was allowed by the GCSO, McGuffin had “a real and legitimate fear” of violent reprisal if he spoke out against the former Detective.


    Marchmond Cottrell Cottrell lawsuit vs. ex-Detective Terry Blanton:
    Cottrell’s lawsuit levies the same charges of “grossly negligent, reckless, knowing, and intentional behavior of the Sheriff, Rick Clemons in failing to supervise his Deputy.” Cottrell also claims that he was unlawfully arrested twice by Blanton - who he accuses of planting evidence at his home - and that he was mislead into pleading guilty.

    Cottrell’s suit states that during his incarceration under false pretenses, his wife became severely ill and was forced to “labor through illness until near her death alone.” Cottrell was released on a furlough bond to be with his wife during the final days before her death.

    Additionally, the lawsuit accuses Blanton of taking personal property which belonged to Cottrell, including cash, jewelry, family heirlooms and antiques; and continues on to say that “the evidence bag that allegedly contained evidence against him was allowed to be in the possession of undercover informants acting pursuant to Blanton’s directives.”

    Marchmond Cottrell Cottrell lawsuit vs. Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons:

    Furthermore, the documents allege that Clemons did not make good use of the in-office surveillance cameras which could have potentially alerted him to misconduct on Blanton’s part and states: “Blanton’s drug use should have become known to the Sheriff if even basic drug testing regiments were being followed.”


    Ex-Detective Terry Blanton is already facing drug theft / trafficing & other charges:

    Blanton, who resigned from his post with the GCSO on March 14, 2012 amid allegations of inappropriate behavior, is currently facing charges of theft of a controlled substance and trafficking in a controlled substance (hydrocodone) in the second degree, first offense. Both of these are felony charges. These suspected crimes were allegedly committed between September 2011 and April 2012.

    Also, he is charged with hindering prosecution or apprehension in the second degree, an offense which he is accused of having committed in late April of 2012 when he allegedly helped Shelburne evade arrest by the Kentucky State Police.

    Blanton will appear in court to answer to these criminal charges on September 23.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  2. M

    M Muckraker

    And a 3rd lawsuit ...

    Courthouse News Service: Kentucky Sheriff and Deputy Accused of Outrageous Abuses (Sept 25 2013)

    A Kentucky sheriff made a woman strip for him, and a deputy sheriff sexually assaulted her in front of her husband and got her addicted to drugs he stole from an evidence locker, the woman claims in court. Hope Shelburne sued Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons and his former deputy sheriff and detective Terry Blanton, in Federal Court.

    Shelburne claims she was called into the Grayson County Sheriff's Department in late 2009, where Sheriff Clemons falsely accused her of selling hydrocodone and told her, "'I will be good to you, if you're good to me.'" The complaint states: "Clemons ordered the plaintiff to remove her clothes. When the plaintiff undressed, the defendant Sheriff Clemons ordered the plaintiff to get on top of his desk in the sheriff's office. Sheriff Clemons made the plaintiff to touch her genitals. Sheriff Clemons gratified himself in the presents [sic] of the plaintiff while she was made to touch her genitals."

    More than a year later, Shelburne says, Det. Blanton approached her about becoming a confidential informant. She says she agreed in order to defer a charge of hindering the apprehension of a fugitive. During her time as an informant, Shelburne says, Blanton threatened to throw her in jail for the hindering charge if she did not submit to his sexual advances. "Because of these threats, threats similar to those which had been made by Blanton's superior officer, Sheriff Rick Clemons, the plaintiff acquiesced to Blanton's advances," the lawsuit states.

  3. M

    M Muckraker

    WBKO: Grayson County Sheriff Says Accusations Aren't True (Oct 8 2013)

    A sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against the Grayson County Sheriff. Sheriff Rick Clemons said he hasn't even been served the suit yet, but said what he's come to find out about the lawsuit simply isn't true. The most recent lawsuit claims he sexually exploited a Grayson County woman, Hope Shelburne.
  4. M

    M Muckraker

    WDRB: Civil lawsuits allege abuse by Grayson Co. Sheriff, former detective (Oct 4 2013)

    Hope Shelburne says, "I just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody else." She claims she was asked to come to Sheriff's Clemons' office after hours in 2009. She says the Sheriff told her he knew of her money troubles and believed she was selling hydrocodone. She says the Sheriff told her, "I will be good to you, if you're good to me." She says, "He asked me to get on top of his desk and, and um, start touching myself in front of him…I was pretty upset when it was going on. After it was over, he acted like it was no big deal -- he gave me $200."

    About a year later, Shelburne says she was approached by then-Grayson County Sheriff's Detective Terry Blanton: "He asked me to be a confidential informant for him." When asked what that meant, Shelburne said, "I had to give up names, give him information, make drug buys. If I didn't do these things he'd put me in jail."
    Shelburne says Blanton also forced her to have sex with him, saying, "We never had sexual intercourse at the office, but other places he would have me meet."

    She also says Blanton gave her drugs he stole from Grayson County's evidence room: "They would have on the bags names on them, and they would say ‘evidence.'" Blanton pleaded guilty to doing just that three weeks ago.

  5. M

    M Muckraker

    Altus Times: Former Sheriff’s Detective pleads guilty to drug charges: Blanton faces up to a year in prison (Sept 17 2013)

    Former detective Terry Blanton pleaded guilty to multiple charges in Grayson County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Sept. 16. The 49-year-old Edmonson County resident was charged with theft of a controlled substance, a class D felony; trafficking in a controlled substance in the second degree, another class D felony; and hindering apprehension in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty to the first and final charges, while the trafficking allegations were merged with the other charges.

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