The 16-year-old girl who died in a Kentucky juvenile-detention center last week was found unresponsive on a bed in a private room, according to the state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. The new details provide a slightly clearer portrait of a seemingly mysterious death in a state-run juvenile detention center, the first such incident in Kentucky in 16 years.
As family and friends gathered for the funeral of a teenage girl who died in state custody, memories of her life competed for attention with an unanswered question circulating through Kentucky and beyond: What caused the death of Gynnya Hope McMillen?
Abuse, misconduct and malfeasance in Kentucky’s county jails inflict immeasurable physical and emotional damage on victims. They also are costly to taxpayers. Find out how much your county is paying for jail-related mishaps.
Richard Carley Hooten, a longtime felon and focus of our “Man With Many Chances” investigative series, will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Hooten, 50, was sentenced today in Clark County Circuit Court, in Southern Indiana, to a term of life in prison without parole, according to the News and Tribune. Hooten pleaded guilty last month to killing 17-year-old Tara Willenborg in March 2013 in her Clarksville apartment. Last year, we examined how fundamental failures throughout the criminal justice system allowed a six-time felon and serial rapist to continue his predatory habits with little intervention
Decisions by prosecutors and judges put him back on the street instead of behind bars, and at the time of Willenborg’s rape and murder, Hooten was free on bond in connection with a felony gun case. For months before the killing, Clark County authorities failed to arrest Hooten, a registered sex offender, on outstanding warrants.
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