Lawsuit filed in deadly Roane County officer-involved shooting

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ROANE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – The estate of a man shot and killed by a Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy has filed a lawsuit against the deputy and the Roane County Commission calling the situation a “horrific and entirely unnecessary shooting incident”. 

The suit claims Deputy Michael King’s negligence and recklessness led to Timothy Rhodes’ death. 

On February 22nd King was called to a home off Ambler Ridge Road in the Walton area.  A caller claimed Rhodes’ vehicle had driven by kicking up rocks onto their property.

Roane County Sheriff Todd Cole said the deputy arrived on scene and told Rhodes and a passenger inside to exit the vehicle.  That’s when the sheriff says King tried to handcuff Rhodes and Rhodes reached for the deputy’s gun.  King then shot Rhodes. 

The lawsuit says Rhodes and his passenger, Tammy Nichols, had driven to his family home to collect mail and other items.  It goes on to say King was not in uniform when he arrived on scene and was not displaying a badge. 

The lawsuit claims King advanced on the truck with a shotgun screaming at the couple to get out.  After Nichols got out, Rhodes did too, at which point the suit claims King pushed him to the ground and told him to stay there.  The suit says Rhodes was on his back at that point and moved as if to stand up and that’s when King shot him. 

The lawsuit claims King had a reputation for excessive force and cites multiple complaints against him it says weren’t properly dealt with.   

Protesters gathered in Roane County after Rhodes’ death calling it unjustified and demanding justice. 

The Roane County Commission is named in the suit as King was working in its employment through the department. 

The suit asks for damages for a number of things including mental anguish and pain and suffering. 

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