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Lawsuit dismissed in 2011 shooting

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By Calen McKinney

A Campbellsville man who was shot three years ago has lost a civil suit he filed, asking the alleged triggerman to pay him damages.

Hodgenville attorney Kyle Williamson filed the suit in Taylor Circuit Court on Jan. 30, 2012, on Tony Vaughn's behalf. Ricky H. Humphress of Columbia was listed as the defendant.

According to Vaughn's complaint, he was riding a wagon being pulled by mules on DKB Road in Taylor County on Jan. 30, 2011. The mules ran into a field Humphress owned, the claim states, and Humphress fired a shotgun at him.

According to a Taylor County Sheriff's Office report, deputies received a call on Jan. 30, 2011, reporting a shooting in the Elk Horn community. After arriving at the scene, deputies were told Humphress had shot Vaughn in the back.

Vaughn told deputies he was riding in the wagon when Humphress allegedly drove up behind him, got out of his truck and shot him in the back with a shotgun.

Court records state that Vaughn had five buck shot pellets in his back. He was treated at Taylor Regional Hospital and released.

Vaughn claimed that, as a result, he received medical treatment totaling $2,400. He also claimed that he lost wages and anticipates future medical expenses as a result of him being shot.

Vaughn asked for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, interest and any other compensation a judge deemed appropriate.

On Sept. 12, 2013, local attorney John C. Miller filed a response to the claim on Humphress' behalf. Humphress denied Vaughn's accusations and said he didn't cause any of the alleged damages. Humphress asked that the claim be dismissed.

Since Vaughn's lawsuit was originally filed, there has been little action in the case. Williamson resigned as his attorney on Feb. 19, 2013.

Radcliff attorney Doug Miller then became Vaughn's attorney, but he also resigned from the case, on Nov. 7, 2013. Vaughn hasn't appointed another attorney since.

And on April 1, the case was dismissed without prejudice for lack of prosecution.

When a case is dismissed with prejudice, according to Black's Law Dictionary, it can't be prosecuted again. A dismissal without prejudice allows the allegations to be claimed again.

Miller declined to comment on the case.

This isn't the first time Vaughn and Humphress have squared off in court.

Humphress was charged by a Taylor County grand jury in March 2011 with tampering with physical evidence and first-degree assault. Last August, he was found not guilty of the crimes during a three-day trial.

Humphress testified that he didn't intend to shoot at Vaughn, and, if he was struck, it was accidental. Humphress told jurors he fired three shots at the wagon's tires and tailgate.

"I had no intention of hurting anybody," Humphress told jurors. "I just wanted to deter him and scare him. I've never shot anybody in my life."

If jurors had convicted him, Humphress faced as much as 25 years in prison.