Vigo man sues, says he was kept in prison more than a year too long

Mar. 15—A Vigo County man contends he was kept in state prison for more than a year longer than he should have been, and he's suing two Indiana prison officials and the circuit clerk of Vigo County.

Koty A. Wilkie says he was sentenced in Vigo County by Judge Michael Lewis for robbery with serious bodily injury on March 19, 2016. The judge, Wilkie says in his federal lawsuit filed March 5, issued a total sentence of 12 years — eight years in prison and four years suspended.

Wilkie argues he should have been released from prison on March 31, 2022, but he was not released until July 2023.

He names as defendants two current or former Indiana Department of Correction wardens: Deshaun Zatecky at Putnamville Correctional Center and Richard Brown at Wabash Valley Correctional Center in Carlisle. Also named as a defendant is Brad Newman, the current Circuit Clerk of Vigo County. Newman took office in January 2017.

Wilkie says his attempts to be released began as early as April 2022 with communications to the court and to Indiana DOC.

He says he in February 2023 filed for a writ of release — or writ of habeas corpus — in Putnam County Superior Court. That matter was transferred to Vigo County, where he originally was sentenced.

Wilkie's suit says, "After review of the record, including an error on the original Abstract of Judgment recorded by the Vigo County Clerk of Court," he was released from prison.

Wilkin contends he was imprisoned for more than a year longer than he should have been and says that amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his Eighth Amendment constitutional rights. He seeks unspecified relief and attorney fees.

Through a spokesman, the Indiana DOC said it does not comment on pending litigation. Newman on Friday said he had not seen the lawsuit and does not comment on pending litigation.

The case is in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division. It is 2:24-cv-0007 and is before U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon and U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark J. Dinsmore. Attorney William R. Morris Jr. of Bloomington is representing Wilkie.

Contact Mark Fitton at 812-231-4333 or mark.fitton@tribstar.com.

Contact Mark Fitton at 812-231-4333 or mark.fitton@tribstar.com.