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Jail Beating

Hinds, MS: (Apr-11-08) Michael Burnley Jr., a former detention-center inmate, brought a federal lawsuit against Hinds County, over a jail beating in 2007, which left him paralyzed from the assault. The suit claimed that Burnley, 23 at the time of the incident, was paralyzed from the chest down from the beating he received from fellow inmate John Earl Kennedy, who apparently broke Burnley's cell-door lock and assaulted him in March 2007. Court records indicate that Kennedy now is serving a 15-year sentence at the State Penitentiary in Parchman for the assault.

Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin stated that the locks on cells at the detention center in Raymond were faulty and that the jail has been plagued with problems related to poor construction and maintenance issues since it opened in 1994. The primary issue has been the malfunctioning locks and cell doors. Reports of the incident show that Burnley was discovered lying on his cell floor in a pool of blood.

As part of a settlement reached in the case, Hinds County has settled the federal lawsuit arising over the jail beating by agreeing to pay $3 million to Burnley. County officials said that insurance will cover $1 million; though accruing the remaining $2 million remains a challenge for the financially strapped county. Burnley had asked for $15 million in the lawsuit filed in October 2007. [CLARION LEDGER: HINDS TO PAY MAN $3M]

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Published on Apr-24-08


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