WJHL.com - Sheriff's Office files response to inmate death lawsuit

Sheriff's Office files response to inmate death lawsuit

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Stewart Peppers Stewart Peppers
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JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) -

The Washington County Tennessee Sheriff's Office has officially responded to a lawsuit over the death of an inmate.

Steward Peppers died while in the Washington County Detention Center in April.

Peppers' parents, Joe and Natasha Peppers, filed a lawsuit in July seeking $20 million in compensatory damages, and an additional one million dollars for loss consortium.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege the corrections officers than strapped Peppers to a restraint chair and struck him repeatedly in the face while also using chemical spray and electrical tasers.

The lawsuit states that after the beating, the defendants laid Peppers on the floor and began to perform CPR.

The plaintiffs believe a video recording of the incident was captured by the jail's surveillance system, and it is now in the hands of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

News Channel 11 has obtained the response to the allegations filed by attorneys for the Washington County Sheriff's office.

The court papers states that the WCSO adamantly denies the allegations in lawsuit, "The defendants did not beat Mr. Peppers to death as alleged by the plaintiffs, but the defendants used the amount of force that was reasonably necessary to try to a restrain and control an extremely strong and manic individual who posed a severe threat to the officers, to himself, and to the security of the Washington County Detention Center."

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