Robert Yell, a Logan County man whose manslaughter and arson conviction in 2006 was dismissed without prejudice last year, has filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Bowling Green. The lawsuit accuses numerous people of conspiring to frame him for his son Cameron’s death.

Yell was charged, convicted, and spent 12 years in prison for setting his trailer on fire resulting in the death of his young child and injury of another. Yell fought the conviction claiming his innocence from the beginning. He has said on record that he blacked out during the incident that took his son’s life and burned over half his daughter’s body.

Soon after Yell’s conviction, his attorneys began filing appeals. His case made it to the Kentucky Supreme Court who affirmed the conviction in 2007. Yell’s counsel then entered motions in 2011 and 2012, which were denied.

In 2016 Krista Dolan, Staff Attorney with the Innocence Project of Florida and then-attorney with the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy filed a motion for a new trial. The basis for the motion was that Yell’s due process rights had been violated based on the admission of evidence at trial now known to be scientifically invalid.

After a two-day evidentiary hearing, Circuit Judge Tyler Gill ruled that Yell was entitled to a new trial. In a written order, he found the testimony of the Commonwealth’s fire investigation experts was “based on obsolete and erroneous techniques, rules of thumb, and assumptions, and none can be relied upon as true.”

Those listed as defendants in Yell’s suit include the Cities of Russellville and Georgetown; Logan and Scott counties; former Russellville Chief of Police, Jim Pendergraf; former Russellville Police officers, Kenneth Edmonds, John Higgins, Chad Eggleston, and Ronald Mills; Kentucky State Police officers, David West, Jaman Childers, and William T. Smith; former Logan County Jailer, Bill Jenkins; Deputy Alan Gregory of the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s Office; Captain Buster Cannon of the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, and the estate of former Fire Marshal, Jack Flowers. All were involved in the case against Yell.

Yell is seeking unspecified damages on claims of malicious prosecution, due process violations, fabrication of false evidence, failure to intervene, conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights, negligent supervision, intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress, reckless infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.

Yell’s attorney is Amy Robinson Staples of Loevy & Loevy a firm based out of Chicago. According to the law firm’s website, they specialize in civil rights law.