CHARLESTON – A Logan County woman has filed suit against the Logan County Commission and three Logan County deputies, alleging a surveillance camera outside the woman's home offended the officers enough to shove her into a freezer.
Later, events spiraled to the point where the woman claims deputies either hired someone to set fire to her house and to her car or committed the arson themselves.
Brenda Williamson claims the officers first visited her home located at 518 City View Dr. in Logan on Dec. 21, 2007, after her houseguest, Aida Sloan, called 911.
Sloan, who was staying with Williamson while she was on house arrest, told Williamson that she had called for assistance after Williamson's boyfriend, Randy Vinson, choked her, according to the federal complaint filed June 5.
Logan County deputies Jeffrey Robinette and Carter, along with an unknown officer referred to only as John Doe, responded to the call and separated Vinson and Sloan, the complaint says.
All the while, Williamson was in her kitchen, the suit states.
During the house visit, Robinette went outside where he found a surveillance camera, which seemed to annoy him, Williamson says.
"From that point forward, Robinette was verbally abusive to plaintiff and Sloan," the suit states. "He called plaintiff and Sloan derogatory names, and he threatened both of them with jail."
Unappreciative of Robinette's conduct, Williamson asked him for his badge number and his name, which angered Robinette even more, the complaint says.
"He immediately grabbed plaintiff's right arm, and twisted it behind her back," the suit states. "Robinette then handcuffed her right wrist, and then roughly grabbed her left arm and twisted it behind plaintiff's back, at which point he handcuffed her left wrist. At this point, Robinette slammed plaintiff's head off on her kitchen table, and then bent her over and with his knee in her back he slammed her chest first into a deep freezer."
Meanwhile, Sloan was pleading with Robinette to stop his alleged abusive treatment of Williamson, explaining that Williamson had recently undergone heart surgery and had a history of back problems, according to the complaint.
However, Sloan's words did not stop Robinette, who shoved Williamson outside in the cold in her bare feet and shoved her up stairs so hard she fell and her glasses dropped from her face, Williamson claims.
"Robinette mocked plaintiff after she fell, stating words to the effect, 'we have a faker here, we have a faker here,'" the complaint says.
The Logan County sheriff's deputy referred to as John Doe asked Williamson if she needed an ambulance, and she confirmed that she did, the suit states.
While waiting for the ambulance, Williamson asked Jenson to provide her nitroglycerin spray for her chest pains and heard Robinette in the background cursing and telling her that he would show her what jail was like, according to the complaint.
Williamson claims she was eventually transported to the hospital and was lying in her bed when Robinette appeared with a citation for obstruction and disorderly conduct.
Eventually, the charges against Williamson were dismissed without prejudice on June 9, 2008, the complaint says.
At some point before Jan. 1, 2008, Williamson filed a complaint against Robinette, Carter and the John Doe deputies, regarding the incident at her home, the suit states.
On Jan. 1, 2008, Williamson's home was set on fire while Sloan and Vinson were inside. Logan Fire Chief Scott Beckett declared the fire to be arson, according to the complaint.
About six months later, Williamson's car was also set on fire, which was also deemed to be the result of arson, the suit states.
"Plaintiff believes that the LCSO, acting through Robinette, Carter and/or the aforementioned John Doe, either directly or indirectly were responsible for the aforementioned arson, and that it was an attempt to retaliate against plaintiff for filing her complaint," the complaint says. "In this regard, plaintiff asserts that Robinette and/or Carter and/or the aforementioned John Doe set these blazes, OR that they and/or the LCSO encouraged other persons to set her house and car on fire."
Because of the deputies' treatment of her, Williamson says she experienced massive swelling, bruising and permanent scarring, incurred medical bills and suffered excruciating pain, anxiety and depression.
In the five-count suit, Williamson is seeking compensatory, punitive and treble damages, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.
She will be represented by Timothy P. Rosinsky of Rosinsky Law Office in Huntington and by Kerry A. Nessel of The Nessel Law Firm in Huntington.
U.S. District Court case number: 2:09-615