Former inmate accuses jailers of using excessive force

By Robert Hadley | May 13, 2016

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County man is suing West Virginia correctional officials and personnel over claims of brutality.

CHARLESTON – A Kanawha County man is suing West Virginia correctional officials and personnel over claims of brutality.

David Adkins filed a lawsuit April 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the state of West Virginia; the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety; the West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority; the Southern Regional Jail and its administrator, Michael Francis; and Austin G. Burke, alleging violation of statutory duty, gross negligence and outrage.

According to the complaint, Adkins was severely injured on May 23, 2014 as a prisoner of the Southern Regional Jail while awaiting pretrial on a misdemeanor charge. The suit says Burke led a special response team under the direction of Francis to search his cell for homemade weapons. During the search, Adkins says he was struck twice in the upper leg by bean-bag pellets fired from a shotgun, causing serious, permanent injuries.


Adkins seeks a jury trial and compensatory damages, plus interest and litigation costs. He is represented by attorney Charles M. Love IV of The Love Law Firm PLLC in Charleston, M. Timothy Koontz of Williamson and Sidney H. Bell of Beaver.

Judge James C. Stucky is assigned to the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number 16-C-560

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