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A Carroll County judge ordered police to send a troubled local man to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. But police had other plans for dealing with their petty crime problem. They sprung him from jail and put him on a bus to Florida.

Carrollton Mayor Stands By Police Chief and Officer Under Indictment

Carrollton Police - photo by Erica Peterson
Erica Peterson
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Carrollton Police

Carrollton Mayor Robb Adams issued a show of support Tuesday for the city's police chief and a veteran officer who wereindicted on kidnapping and misconduct charges.

In a released statement, Adams noted that both officers will continue to work as city employees, but in a non-law enforcement capacity. Adams also stressed that the officers are "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Adams had declined to comment Monday following the indictments of Chief Michael Willhoite, 48, and Officer Ron Dickow, 50. The mayor appeared in court and sat next to Willhoite and his wife as the judge read the grand jury charges.

Both officers allegedly violated a judge's order in releasing a mentally ill man from jail in April and banishing him from Kentucky. Dickow allegedly drove Adam Horine to Louisville in the middle of the night, gave Horine about $18 and put him on a bus for a 900-mile, one-way trip to Florida.

Carroll District Judge Elizabeth Chandler had ordered police to immediately transfer Horine, 31, to Eastern State Hospital in Lexington for psychiatric evaluation and treatment. Instead, he appeared in Florida.

Willhoite and Dickow are charged with two felony counts, complicity to commit kidnapping and custodial interference, and also official misconduct, a misdemeanor. If convicted on the current charges, they face up to five years in prison on each felony count, and a year imprisonment on the misdemeanor charge. Attorneys for both men declined to comment following the court proceedings Monday.

The case is set for a Dec. 1 trial.

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting broke the story in May. Read our series of reports on the case here.