Man exonerated in 1980 murder sues Kentucky State Police

December 18, 2020 GMT

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A man exonerated in a 1980 murder has filed a lawsuit against Kentucky State Police investigators and local law enforcement, alleging he was framed in the slaying.

Norman Graham filed suit in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green, the Courier Journal reported. Graham, 74, alleged that police suppressed evidence that pointed to at least three other suspects, including a next-door neighbor who was eventually convicted as a serial killer.


The victim, 21-year-old Janice Kaye Williams, was found dead in a trailer in Todd County that was rented by Graham. She had been raped and stabbed.

“Graham had absolutely nothing to do with Williams’ rape or murder and yet faced the penalty of death for crimes he did not commit,” the suit said.

The filing names Todd County, the estate of a former Todd County sheriff, and several Kentucky state troopers and supervisors.

Graham was tried in Williams’ death in 1981 but not convicted. Two decades later, he was tried again, found guilty of murder and rape and served more than nine years before he was granted a new trial in 2017. New evidence implicated another man, Roy Wayne Dean Jr., who has since been convicted of killing two women in a similar manner to Williams.

A spokesman for the Kentucky State Police said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for malicious prosecution, violations of due process and negligent supervision.