Students must be informed of their legal rights - including the right to remain silent - before being questioned by school administrators working with police or school resource officers, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled Thursday in throwing out an incriminating statement in a drug case.
The ruling, issued by a deeply divided court, sets a bright-line rule for school officials pursuing both disciplinary action and possible criminal charges on school grounds.
The case centers on the arrest of a Nelson County student identified in court records only as N.C., who was charged with a drug offense after sharing prescription hydrocodone with a classmate at school.
When LeBron Gaither was last seen alive, he had just gotten into a car in Taylorsville for a drug buy in July 1996, unaware that someone tipped off his dealer, Jason Noel, to his role as a police informant.
Police later found Gaither's body in Casey County. He had been tortured, stabbed, beaten, dragged and killed.
Now, the Kentucky Supreme Court is giving Gaither's mother, Virginia Gaither, a chance to argue why she should be compensated for her son's death. The high court on Thursday agreed to take up the family's case, but did not give a reason why in the single-line order. The case is likely to be heard sometime in 2013. Initial briefs are due from the plaintiffs in 60 days.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by a highway contractor who wants a bid-rigging statement he made to investigators nearly 30 years ago to remain secret. Earlier this year, the Kentucky Court of Appeals in a 2-1 ruling rejected an argument by contractor Leonard Lawson that his privacy would be invaded if the 1983 statement was released.