Defense attorney: Lexington police arrested wrong man for murder

The police department credited the controversial Flock cameras for the arrest.
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 9:36 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An arrest has been resolved after an attorney says Lexington police arrested the wrong man on a murder warrant.

The man’s defense attorney, Abe Mashni, says the man police say they arrested last week has been dead for several years. Now they are calling for a retraction from the police.

The police department credited the controversial Flock cameras for the arrest.

News of this comes less than 24 hours after Mayor Linda Gorton touted the success of Flock cameras and called for a new surveillance program as she laid out her budget plan to Council.

“Our investment in Flock License Plate Readers has been an enormous success,” Mayor Gorton said. “Flock helps police solve murders, burglaries, stolen vehicles, and violent assaults.”

Last week, Lexington police sent out a release, saying they had arrested a man after a shots-fired call on Camelot Drive.

They say they had identified his car from a Flock camera based on a witness description.

Police found the car at a nearby home and said they found a man named Nicholas Ruiz, who had an outstanding warrant out of Texas for a 1980 murder.

Only, Mashni says that is not his client’s name. It’s actually Javier Manriquez, and Ruiz died several years ago.

In a statement, Mashni says the case against Manriquez was resolved in Fayette District Court Wednesday but says his reputation has been harmed and calls for a retraction on Manriquez’s arrest.

We did reach out to Lexington police and the City for comment on this instance, with the intent to clarify how police came to identify Manriquez. In a response, they said the investigation is ongoing.

In her budget address Tuesday, Mayor Gorton says more than half of the 100 flock cameras that are going up around the city have been set up.