LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For thirteen years Paul Carter of Lexington has been trying to right a wrong that he believes was done to him on April 14, 2006. That's when he says Kentucky State Police Trooper Jason Palmer pulled him over on East Maxwell Street in downtown Lexington for not using his turn signal.
During his arrest, Carter admittedly says Palmer found drugs in his vehicle and arrested him on charges of DUI and possession of marijuana. Carter claims Palmer didn't have the right to stop him because he used his turn signal. He spent 12 days in jail and lost his job.
Carter sued Palmer for malicious prosecution. In 2017, a Fayette County Circuit Court jury awarded him $256,000. After numerous appeals on both sides in state and federal courts, the Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned the jury verdict and ordered Fayette Circuit Court to issue judgment in Palmer's favor. In summary, the court decided Carter failed to establish the elements of malicious prosecution.
Carter says he should not have been arrested because he claims the trooper lied. He says video from the trooper's owner cruiser camera showed him using his turn signal. In court, Palmer testified there was no video, but then later acknowledged he was mistaken. Palmer stood by his claim he saw Carter fail to use his signal to change lanes before blue lights activated his camera.
Carter has not given up his fight, telling LEX 18, "I sleep it, I walk it, I'll die with the paperwork. I've been done wrong." Not only is he upset about the latest ruling, he says the court has ordered him to pay Palmer's $175 filing fees, "I owe this man 175 dollars, after 13 years for being locked up for 12 days It's unconstitutional. They can keep their money."
Attorneys for Jason Palmer, who is now a Lieutenant with KSP, declined to be interviewed for this story.