Family sues Owsley County Sheriff, says he ordered killing of man

OWSLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- A family in Owsley County is suing the county, the sheriff and a deputy for the wrongful death of a man they say the sheriff’s department killed without reason.

A lawsuit filed in federal court claims back in March of 2017, the Owsley County Sheriff ordered one of his deputies to shoot a man without any sort of provocation and then instead of call an ambulance, let him bleed to death inside his own apartment.

The family of 42-year-old Charles Harris is claiming in its lawsuit, Sheriff Kelly Shouse ordered the killing of Harris after a woman it says both men appeared to have been dating at the time called the sheriff’s cell phone claiming she’d had an altercation with Harris.

The lawsuit goes on to allege Sheriff Shouse showed up at Harris’ apartment with Deputy Michael Havicus, forced his way in and told Havicus to shoot Harris which Havicus did.

It then claims neither Shouse nor Havicus offered any sort of first aid to Harris who ultimately died from the gun shot wound.

“Whatever they did that night it was not cool, it was not good. It was a violation of their constitutional rights, somebody died because of it, somebody has permanent hearing loss and two children no longer have a father,” said Tom Pugh, the lawyer for the Harris Family.

We reached out to the sheriff’s attorney for comment but did not get a response.

The sheriff is running for re-election this year.

He has one opponent in the May 22nd primary.

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