At a court hearing on April 22, a Kentucky judge ordered that Adam Horine be transported from the Carroll County Detention Center to a Lexington hospital for a mental health examination and treatment. Horine, who’d been arrested for disorderly conduct and making verbal threats, was hearing voices and had thoughts of suicide. Hours after the court order, police picked up Horine from the jail, but instead of taking him to the hospital, they put him on a Greyhound bus with a one-way ticket to Florida—a 28-hour ride away. What happened?
The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting has the whole bizarre story. According to KyCIR’s sources, Carrollton Police Chief Michael Willhoite proposed a deal to Horine and Judge Elizabeth Chandler before the April court hearing: If Horine—a repeat offender who’d been arrested for theft, drunk driving, and drugs in the past—would leave Kentucky for Florida permanently, the most recent charges against him would be resolved.
In a video of the hearing obtained by KyCIR, Horine can be heard saying that he is mentally and physically ill, claiming repeatedly that his kidneys are failing and that he has been “peeing blood.” After initially expressing interest in the Florida deal, he backed off, asking to be hospitalized instead, and Judge Chandler agreed.
The same day, Carrollton police officer Ron Dickow arrived at the detention center, took him to the bus station, and handed him a ticket and $18 cash. (KyCIR has video of Horine’s departure from jail as well.) Dickow was reportedly acting under orders from Chief Willhoite, who also provided the money for the ticket. Horine arrived in Florida safely.
The Kentucky attorney general’s office is now investigating Horine’s case, and a special prosecutor has been appointed to examine “allegations of misconduct and other criminal violations of Chief Mike Willhoite and Officer Ron Dickow.” Horine was arrested near St. Petersburg and taken back to Kentucky this month after the Kentucky AG issued a warrant alleging, somewhat bafflingly, that he had escaped from jail. According to KyCIR’s R.G. Dunlop, the office may have issued the charge as a ploy to get Horine home after learning of potential misconduct: “The justice system that sent Horine to Florida had to charge him with a new crime in order to extradite him to Kentucky.”
Horine is currently hospitalized at Lexington’s Eastern State Hospital—the facility to which he was originally supposed to be transferred—and awaiting his next court date.