Lawsuit seeking records over 1987 teen deaths dismissed

Arkansas News
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — (9/20/19) A judge dismissed a Benton woman’s 2016 lawsuit that aimed to obtain documents from three federal agencies to reveal information about her son’s 1987 death.

The dismissal on Wednesday followed Linda Ives’ request for documents related to beliefs that the deaths were potentially related to a drug-trafficking ring involving Barry Seal, a pilot who smuggled cocaine from Colombia to the U.S., the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

Ives filed the suit seeking to determine how 17-year-old Kevin Ives was killed. He and 16-year-old friend Don Henry were found dead on railroad tracks Aug. 23, 1987. She accused federal, state and local authorities of refusing to meet records requests she filed. The lawsuit said the documents provided were heavily edited, making them indecipherable.

The state medical examiner determined that the boys were hit by a train while lying on the tracks in a marijuana-induced sleep, but another pathologist said he thought the boys were killed, then placed on the track.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller dismissed majority of the agencies involved in the lawsuit in November 2017, except for the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Miller ordered a private review of documents they said were exempt from disclosure.

Miller said in 2018 that the DEA needed to disclose parts of the files to satisfy Ives’ request. But Ives and her attorney at the time, David Lewis, didn’t find anything related to the boys’ deaths.

Tona DeMers, Ives’ current attorney, couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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