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Woman claims Henderson police unlawfully jailed her during attempted murder investigation

A woman claims she was falsely arrested by Henderson police in 2013 and unlawfully incarcerated for about six months after her spouse accused her of attempted murder.

Vanessa Kelley, who is represented by attorneys at Potter Law Offices, filed a civil rights lawsuit Oct. 14 against Henderson police in Clark County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, police arrested Kelley in October 2013 on a charge of attempted murder with a deadly weapon after her spouse, Audrey Young, reported that Kelley had stabbed her in the head, chest and neck.

“On the date and time in question, Ms. Kelley was at Clark County Family Court to file a temporary protective order against Ms. Young,” the complaint alleges. “Therefore, Ms. Kelley did not and could not have attempted to murder Ms. Young.”

According to the lawsuit, surveillance video showed that Kelley was at Family Court “at the time that she was alleged to have committed the crime.”

Kelley was charged and held at both the Henderson Detention Center and Clark County Detention Center for about six months while police conducted a criminal investigation, according to the lawsuit, but police “failed to investigate Ms. Kelley’s contention that she was at Family Court.”

The document alleges Henderson police Detectives Mark Hosaka and Chad Mitchell lacked probable cause to arrest Kelley, whose criminal case later was dismissed.

According to the lawsuit, the detectives “had an affirmative constitutional obligation to obtain the exculpatory evidence” but chose not to comply with those obligations.

Defendants in the lawsuit include the city of Henderson, Hosaka and Mitchell.

“Had the defendants investigated the matter in a constitutionally adequate fashion, they would have found that Audrey Young suffers from severe psychological issues,” the complaint alleges.

Henderson City Attorney Josh Reid declined to comment on the allegations in the lawsuit.

Also named as defendants are the Metropolitan Police Department, which operates the Clark County jail; NaphCare Inc., the county jail’s medical care provider; and Corizon Health, the Henderson jail’s medical care provider.

Metro spokesman Larry Hadfield said the department does not comment on pending litigation. No one at NaphCare or Corizon could be reached for comment Friday.

During Kelley’s incarceration, according to the lawsuit, the jails and their medical care providers refused to provide medication and treatment “for her serious medical needs.”

Clark County Family Court records show that Kelley filed a complaint for annulment against Young in February 2014, and the annulment was granted later that year.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Find her on Twitter: @CarriGeer

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