West Virginia Record

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Inmate alleges conspiracy to destroy all evidence

By Noddy A. Fernandez | May 16, 2018

General court 10

CHARLESTON — A prison inmate is suing employees of the state jail and correctional authority, alleging spoliation of evidence and civil conspiracy.

David Manns filed a complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against correctional officers Benjamin Browning, Hale, Maynard, administrator David Farmer, the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority et al., alleging the defendants conspired with one another to destroy evidence and avoid a criminal investigation by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials as to the use of excessive force, physical assaults, physical abuses, harassment and beatings of inmates.

According to the complaint, in June 2014, Manns was incarcerated at Southwestern Regional Jail in Holden, Logan County. Manns says he suffered threats and was severely beaten by the defendants that resulted to him being escorted to the SWRJ medical unit and he was hospitalized for several days. The suit says Manns sustained pain and suffering, mental anguish and the loss of the ability to enjoy life. 

Manns filed suit over his alleged injuries but was denied due process due to the defendants' alleged conspiracy to destroy evidence such as video footage of Manns being assaulted by defendants. 

As a result, Manns says, he was unable to prevail in certain and various claims of his underlying action against the defendants. 

The plaintiff alleges the defendants deprived an inmate of proving all of his underlying claims by destroying, mutilating and/or significantly altering key, pertinent and relevant evidence.

Manns seeks trial by jury, compensatory and punitive damages, including court costs, attorney fees, and all further relief the court deems appropriate. He is represented by attonrey Kerry A. Nessel of The Nessel Law Firm in Huntington.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 18-C-458

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Organizations in this Story

The Nessel Law FirmKanawha Circuit Court