Lexington shooting suspect suing jail


FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- A man charged for shooting and killing another man in Lexington has filed a lawsuit against the city and jail employees, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

He alleges he was seriously hurt in jail due to withdrawal from benzodiazepines.

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Chase Helvey, 25, is charged with murder, kidnapping, and assault. He was arrested March 29th, 2018, four days after he is accused of shooting James Potter from Richmond in the head.

According to Police, Helvey also assaulted a 29-year-old woman after a disagreement with her over money.

The paper reports, after he was shot in the head, Potter tried to drive away with the woman, but hit a University of Kentucky building on Maxwelton Court.

The two were taken to the hospital where Potter died and the woman was treated.

The Herald Leader cites court records that say Helvey assaulted a victim with a wooden object and a blowtorch in his home.

The paper also reports the lawsuit says Helvey told jail staff members he had taken more than 30 milligrams of benzodiazepines the day of his arrest.

Helvey and his attorney accuse jail staff of waiting until Helvey was “on death’s door” from withdrawal symptoms before sending him to the hospital.

“This lawsuit is important because Chase Helvey isn’t the last person who is going to show up at the Fayette County Detention Center with an opioid problem…Kentucky is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Most of us have a friend or family member who has struggled with addiction. If the jail and its medical staff continue treating people the way they treated Chase, people will die,” The Herald Leader quotes Aaron Bentley, Helvey’s attorney, as saying.

The paper says spokespeople for Lexington would not comment on the jail’s drug tapering policies.

The lawsuit was filed on April 1st in U.S. District Court. It seeks compensatory and punitive damages.