WKYT - Harlan - Headlines

Court reinstates lawsuit over former sheriff's death

By: Rebekah Pewitt Email
By: Rebekah Pewitt Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - A lawsuit brought by the family of a slain one-time eastern Kentucky sheriff can go forward after being reinstated by the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

It names two men, who family members say need to be held accountable, including another former sheriff.

Paul browning Junior disappeared in March 2002 while campaigning for sheriff. His body was found in a burned truck several days later.

All we want is the truth and nothing but the truth,” said Paul Browning III, son of Paul Browning Jr.

He has been seeking justice for his father for more than ten years, and while four people either pleaded guilty or were convicted in the case, he's still looking for answers.

“I don't know if this will give us the closure we're looking for, but it does give us another step down the path. And for that we are very grateful,” said Browning.

The Court of Appeals reinstated the family's lawsuit against former Harlan County Sheriff Steve Duff and his former deputy Roger Hall.

Hall was found guilty of his role in a plot to kill Browning, but Duff was never charged in the case.

“Roger's immediate superior officer was the sheriff, Steve Duff, and it just always seemed very unbelievable to us that something could happen of this magnitude without his knowledge,” said Browning.

Raymond Harris, Dewayne Harris and Johnny Epperson were also charged in the plot to kill browning.
Police say raymond harris was the man who actually killed him.
We called duff but he did not want to comment. Browning admits this lawsuit may not give him new information, but if they win it could ease the financial burden on his mother.

“She should have been at home relaxing a long time ago let’s put it that way, and that's one of my biggest concerns for quality of life for my mother,” said Browning.

She’s a woman who has now spent nearly 11 years without her husband.


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