A complaint was filed in U.S. district court Thursday on behalf of the family of a man who was fatally shot by a Roane County deputy in October 2020.

The complaint alleges Roane County Sheriff Todd Cole and the Roane County Commission negligently allowed deputy Mike King to continue working following a previous officer-involved shooting and claim the decision ultimately resulted in the death of Michael Nichols.

Nichols was killed on Oct. 22, 2020, after the sheriff’s office said he would not comply with King’s orders and allegedly reached for a weapon. Attorneys said Nichols was unarmed.

King was also involved in a fatal 2019 shooting when the sheriff’s office said 28-year-old Timothy Rhodes was shot by the deputy after he allegedly reached for King’s gun during a struggle.

Attorneys said Cole and the commission were aware of multiple alleged complaints about King’s conduct before and after Rhodes’ death and failed to properly train and supervise the deputy, according to court documents. The complaint said King was not required to wear a department-assigned body camera after Rhodes’ death.

The complaint claims that allowing King to continue working without proper training or supervision led to the eventual shooting death of Nichols. The suit is seeking compensation for damages and expenses in the death of Nichols.

The Roane County Sheriff’s Office originally placed King on administrative leave following Nichols’ death.



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