A Kentucky tribunal has found that state police failed to protect a high school youth who serving as a confidential informant. Lebron Gaither, of Lebanon, Ky., was beaten, stabbed and shot in 1996. After years of delays in a review of the case, the tribunal concluded that state police “sentenced him to death” by allowing a drug dealer to learn his identity and then using him in a drug buy in which he was kidnapped and killed.
The Kentucky Board of Claims, in a ruling made public Thursday, has ordered state police to pay $168,730 in damages to his estate. “I’m glad my grandson may be able to finally rest in peace,” said Virginia Gaither, his grandmother, who raised him and is the administrator of his estate. “It’s been 13 years of agony and wondering and waiting if there was ever going to be justice done.” The case was delayed for years by court appeals. But the board found this week that detectives violated clearly established rules and failed in their duty to protect Gaither, who was used for drug buys after he turned 18.