Inmate's attorneys file lawsuit

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Updated: 6/21/2013 10:01 am Published: 6/20/2013 11:22 pm

FOX23 was first to tell you about Cherokee County inmate who was body slammed two weeks ago.

The inmate has filed a lawsuit on the attack caught on camera. Cherokee County Sheriff's Office says they were notified of the lawsuit this week.

The inmate, Justin Yandell, was picked up and body slammed by a Cherokee County jailer, James Keener. He was fired last month.

In the complaint filed against the Cherokee County Governmental Building Authority but Yandell's attorney's allege this wasn't the first time the inmate was abused behind bars.

His attorneys, Timothy Kittle and David Keesling, have filed a complaint against the alleged previous case of abuse.

"These allegations are totally not true," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.

He said he investigated the case himself. Chennault told FOX23's Dontaye Carter he reviewed four hours of surveillance video and found no one entered or exited Yandell's cell.

"Mr. Yandell was perfectly fine, uninjured at seven o'clock in the morning when he received his breakfast. He was locked down in his cell alone,"Chennault told FOX23.

However, the complaint alleges, "Yandell was strapped to a restraint chair, which was toppled by one of the jailers kicking him." It continues to state "once Yandell was on the floor he was kicked and struck about the head until he was rendered unconscious."

In addition, "Yandell was transported to Tahlequah city hospital, but his injuries were found to be so severe and traumatic that he was taken by "life flight" to St. Francis hospital, in Tulsa, Oklahoma."

The report shows he spent nearly 42 days recovering from total brain injury, altered mental state and acute respiratory failure.

"I heard a lot of banging coming from cell 8 near my bunker around 10a.m.,” Chennault read from one of the inmate's statements.

Chennault says these statements show Yandell did it to himself. He believes a letter from Yandell's grandmother depressed him knowing he couldn't be there for her. FOX23.

Cherokee County Detention officers are required to make site checks every hour. Three were fired that day for not properly checking on the inmates.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

annburk - 8/28/2013 3:34 AM
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annburk - 8/28/2013 3:28 AM
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They claimed that on apr 23 2012 this inmate had a medical episode and fell and that's how he ended up in a coma with severe brain damage and tulsa hospital told family that their was no way his injuries were from a fall but that he had been assaulted yet they covered it up he was on lock down so it was either the cell mate or gordon chron****** who took him to the dentist well guess what if it was the cell mate they would have hung him so sounds to me like a cover up . this is discusting that this keeps happening do research people

annburk - 8/28/2013 3:18 AM
0 Votes
Its a good thing for the video because this happens a lot at Cherokee jail.
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