CHARLESTON - A Delbarton man says the Boone County Sheriff's Department mistook him for someone else and wrongly jailed him for more than a month.
Paul Sammons is suing Deputy Chad Barker, the Boone Sheriff's Department, the U.S. 119 Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and troopers J.J. Lester, M.T. Smith and M.G. Robinson in Kanawha Circuit Court. His case was filed Nov. 17.
Sammons says he noticed his name in the Williamson Daily News in Sept. 2005, claiming there were capiases issued for his arrest.
When he went to explain the mistake to Sheriff Lonnie Hannah, Sammons says he was thrown in jail. He says Hannah said, "So you are Virgil Sammons' son," and explained that he was Sammons' brother.
Hannah ordered two deputies to take him into custody and told Sammons, "Hope everything goes well for you in jail," the complaint says.
His bond was placed at an unreasonable $85,000, and his wife who was nine months pregnant had to be hospitalized as a result of the incident, the complaint says.
During his 44 days at Southwestern Regional Jail, Sammons says whenever he complained about the outdated milk, insufficient flood or insect bites he was threatened to be "locked in the hole."
He adds that the mistaken identity stems from a Dec. 2, 2004 drug sting that led to cocaine and crack cocaine distribution charges.
The complaint charges the defendants with violations of the U.S. and West Virginia constitutions and negligence. It also makes a respondeat superior claim, saying the organization defendants are responsible for the negligence of their employees.
"(Sammons) was arrested, jailed and incarcerated for 44 days for no reason whatsoever," the complaint says.
Stephen New is representing Sammons.
Judge James Stucky has been assigned the case.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2467