Lowndes Sheriff and Deputy cleared of charges in inmate death - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes Sheriff and Deputy cleared of charges in inmate death

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July 22, 2003

Lowndes County - A South Georgia sheriff and deputy are cleared of wrongdoing charges in the death of an inmate.

A federal court judge ruled that Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk and deputy Kevin Farmer did not violate the rights of Willie James Williams. Williams died in the Lowndes County jail back in 1998 after he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and traffic charges.

His son filed a civil suit against Paulk and Farmer, saying that Farmer used excessive force in the arrest and Paulk failed to seek proper medical attention. Farmer had to take Williams to the ground to restrain him, and Williams' head hit the ground. He was treated at South Georgia medical center, but died in the jail the next day after having a seizure.

"I'm glad this is finally over, but I'm not surprised at the judge's decision," said Sheriff Paulk. "The evidence has always been in our favor, and I knew we would prevail."

The judge said Williams' son failed to provide enough evidence of a civil rights violation to warrant a jury trial. The suit sought an unspecified amount of money.

posted at 3:45 by ashley.harper@walb.com