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Hill v. Adkins

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division

November 18, 2014

ERICA L. HILL, Individually and as Administratrix of the ESTATE OF JIMMY LEE HILL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SCOTT ADKINS, Individually and in his Official Capacity as a Police Officer for the CITY OF WEST LIBERTY. KENTUCKY, et al., DEFENDANTS

Page 815

For Erica Hill, as Administratrix of the Estate of Jimmy Lee Hill Estate of Jimmy Lee Hill, Erica Hill, Individually, Executor plaintiff: Edward L. Cooley, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lexington, KY.

For Erica Hill, Individually, Plaintiff: Edward L. Cooley, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lexington, KY.

For Scott Adkins, Individually, Scott Adkins, In his official capacity as a Police Office of the City of West Liberty KY, City of West Liberty, KY, Official Defendant-Defendant: Jonathan C. Shaw, Michael J. Schmitt, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Porter, Schmitt, Banks & Baldwin, Paintsville, KY.

Page 816

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Henry R. Wilhoit. Jr., United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court upon the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [Docket No. 24], The motion has been fully briefed by the parties [Docket Nos. 27 and 28] and for the reasons stated below, the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment will be sustained in part and overruled in part.

I.

This case arises from an incident which took place at the residence of Jimmy Lee and erica Hill on February 22, 2012 which resulted in the death of Jimmy Lee Hill.

On February 22, 2012, West Liberty police officers, Kelse Hensley and Scott Adkins appeared at the home of Jimmy Lee Hill and Erica Hill in response to a telephone call to the local 911 dispatch center. Ms. Hill testified that on the night before, Mr. Hill had been drinking heavily and she did not stay at the home. [Deposition of Erica Hill, Docket No, 21 at p. 26]. When she arrived home Wednesday morning Mr. Hill was intoxicated and was upset and accusing Ms. Hill of cheating on him. [Id. at p. 27]. Within an hour of returning home, she called 911. [ Id. at p. 32]. When asked by the 911 operator whether or not there were weapons in the home, Ms. Hill responded " Oh, there's a shitload" . Id. Shortly after the call was placed Ms. Hill disarmed Mr. Hill (double barrel shotgun and .40 caliber Beretta). [Id. at p. 38]. Mr. Hill walked over and sat down with two knives and said " time to do this" . Ms. Hill asked him not to. The West Liberty Chief of Police, Kelse Hensley, arrived and Ms. Hill met him at the door and walked out on the porch handing him two guns. [ Id. at p. 39]. Mr. Hill was in the home armed with two knives. Id. She told Chief Hensley that there was no need for police involvement and asked that the police leave but the Chief insisted that there was a need to investigate and that he needed to speak with Mr. Hill. Chief Hensley opened the front door and was met by Mr, Hill who was standing inside the residence with a knife in each hand but with his hands at his sides and the blade of each knife pointed downward in the direction of Mr. Hill's back. Id.

At this time, Officer Scott Adkins was positioned several feet from the front porch.

When Chief Hensley attempted to enter the home to talk to Mr. Hill, Mr. Hill approached the door with both knives in hand and proceeded onto the porch toward Officer Adkins. According to Ms. Hill:

" And they went to come in and talk to him and he was already meeting them at the door holding both knives like this (demonstrating by holding both arms bent at right angles with forearms ...

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