Johnetta Carr, a Louisville woman who was wrongfully convicted of murder, has reportedly filed a federal lawsuit over the case.
According to the Courier Journal, Carr claims she was framed for the crime at age 16 by Louisville Metro Police officers who fabricated evidence and coerced testimony while investigating a 2005 homicide.
Carr was pardoned by former Kentucky governor Matt Bevin in 2019. Her attorneys say she spent two years in prison before being released in 2009, and spent the next decade on parole for a crime she didn’t commit.
In the lawsuit filed on Tuesday (December 8), Carr’s attorneys alleged police did not investigate a key suspect in the case and instead decided to “frame teenage suspects.”
The former LMPD officers named in the suit include Tony Finch, Garry Huffman, Terry Jones (deceased), Jim Lawson, Shawn Seabolt, Troy Pitcock and James Hellinger. The filing seeks a jury trial, damages and attorneys’ fees.
During a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Carr says she’s currently going to school to become a paralegal in order to help people falsely convicted and to “change the system.”
“It’s not OK to take people’s lives for crimes they did not commit,” said Carr, according to the Journal. “It’s not OK for police officers to commit crimes against people and have no accountability for their actions.”
She added: “I also want the families of anybody who’s been affected by injustice due to the system, (who’s) watching this, to not give up hope and to keep fighting for yourself and your loved ones. The truth will always come to light.”
The original case Carr was wrongfully convicted for centers around the killing of Planes Adolphe, a cab driver originally from Haiti. He was found dead in front of his Louisville apartment building in October of 2005.
Carr would eventually take an Alford plea in May of 2008 to charges of manslaughter, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery and tampering with physical evidence. A defendant, under an Alford plea, does not admit guilt but acknowledges the evidence is sufficient to produce a guilty verdict.
Bevin pardoned Carr in December 2019 over an objection from his Justice Cabinet, after she petitioned him based on her “actual innocence.”