Katie Autry's Estate Sues WKU

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

The family of Katie Autry has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Western Kentucky University and affiliated parties.

The suit claims WKU was negligent in enforcing its safety and security policies, negligence the estate believes lead to Autry's death. The suit names dorm staff who were employed or on duty at the time of Autry's death, including the dorm supervisor, assistant supervisor, and three Resident Assistants.

Ben Crocker, the estate's attorney, says he is unimpressed with recommendations formulated by a safety and security task force. He believes it was a lack of enforcement of existing policies that led to Autry's death.

Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity is also named as a defendant. Police believe Autry attended a party at the Pike fraternity house on the night of Autry's murder, and the estate's lawyer says the fraternity was negligent in its handling of the party, and in transporting Autry and Stephen Soules home from the party. Soules and Lucas Goodrum have are awaiting trial for Autry's rape and murder.

Pi Kappa Alpha did not return our call, but WKU released a statement, which in part reads:

"While the University regrets the terrible crime that was perpetrated against Ms. Autry, it is confident that the facts will show neither its staff nor its policies played a role in this tragic event. It is the position of the University that the person or persons involved in this crime are solely responsible for Ms. Autry's death."


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