Cabell man dismisses suit against Huntington, settles with State Police

By Lawrence Smith | Aug 26, 2013

HUNTINGTON - A Cabell County man dropped his claims against one police department before settling his lawsuit with another.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. “Chuck” Chambers on Aug. 19 dismissed Ashley Dale Ellis’ civil rights suit against the West Virginia State Police after the sides announced they reached a settlement through mediation. Five days before that, Chambers released the city of Huntington and two Huntington Police Department detectives from the suit after Ellis agreed to voluntarily dismiss all claims against them.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court records. Calls to E. Lavoyd Morgan, Jr., Ellis’ attorney, and Michael J. Mullins, defense counsel for the State Police, were not returned by presstime.

In his suit originally filed in Cabell Circuit Court on May 11, 2012, Ellis alleged nearly two years earlier a group of officers from the State Police, Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, Barboursville Police Department and HPD that included detectives S. Bills and S. Hinchman arrived at his home on 1st Ave. in Huntington at an unspecified time to serve a warrant.

In the course of serving the warrant, Ellis alleged the officers, who were dressed in SWAT gear, woke him up out of bed and repeatedly struck him in his “face, abdomen and genitals” with their “fists, feet and batons.”

Ellis averred that at no time did he pose a threat to the officers or attempt to flee.

Earlier this year, after the case was transferred to federal court, Ellis agreed to dismiss the Village of Barboursville and the Cabell County Commission from the suit.

A trial in the case was scheduled for Oct. 8.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, case number 12-cv-5438

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