gavelimageFRANFORT, Ky. (1/10/18) — A Franklin Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of a Hopkins County woman after a civil action case was filed last year in Henderson County pertaining to the open records in the 1995 abduction investigation of her daughter.

In Teague v Kentucky State Police, Division 1 Judge Phillip Shepherd awarded Sarah Teague $9,406 in attorney’s fees and $14,100 in penalties. Shepherd stated on the order entered Jan. 5 his decision is “final and appealable,” with “no just cause for delay in the entry of this judgment.”

Attorney Chip Adams of Madisonville submitted the open records request on behalf of Teague in May 2016 for access to all information pertaining to the 911 calls made during the Aug. 26, 1995 abduction of Heather Teague from Newburgh Beach in Indiana.

The court document lists Teague and her attorney also asked for the names of those present at a KSP Post 16 meeting in March 2008, when Teague and Adams listened to a 911 recording and 1995 Webster County Jail mug shots of suspect Marvin “Marty” Dill. They also specified access to records showing the chain of custody involving case records.

“What it means is KSP willfully withheld the records,” Sarah Teague said. “They have 30 days to appeal, and if they do, the $25 per day penalty is still accruing. We made history today — the judge ordered they produce the records. They gave us a CD of a call that was not made — not the 2008 recording we heard. In this call, the witness (Tim Wathall) gives a totally different scenario.”

KSP denied Teague access to the records in Henderson Circuit Court in May 2016 and the attorney general upheld the denial later that year.

KSP previously cited the case was still “under investigation” as the reason for denying Teague access to the records, although Post 16 named Dill as the prime suspect in Heather Teague’s disappearance years ago. Dill committed suicide before detectives could question him.

Heather has not been seen since she disappeared from the beach 22 years ago. Her mother is hopeful that her daughter’s whereabouts will one day be revealed.

The judge noted KSP failed to demonstrate an argument to continue withholding the open records, citing the reason “lacked a plausible justification,” and KSP acted in “conscious disregard of Plaintiff’s right to access the requested records.”

The court awarded Teague $25 per day since the request for information was denied in addition to $203 in costs and attorney’s fees.

Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

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