Fayette County Prison

Herald-Standard

A former inmate at the Fayette County Prison alleged he was beaten and forced to live in poor conditions while incarcerated at the lockup.

A former inmate at the Fayette County Prison has filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of an assault while he was at the lockup.

Cody Nicholson, though attorney Charity Grimm Krupa, filed the lawsuit naming as defendants Fayette County, the county prison board, former prison warden Jeffrey Myers, corrections officers Cordavan Bussey and Clyde Bronson and former inmates Jason Shaw and Karya Lee Hunter.

According to the complaint, Nicholson was an inmate at the county prison between January 2019 and May 2020, serving as an inmate worker between Jan. 13, 2019 and May 14, 2020.

Krupa contended that the inmates housed at the prison’s annex rioted in April after they had been locked down for a month, and officials decided to move the entire annex population of about 40 inmates to cells in the E and F ranges.

Those ranges were placed on lockdown for 23 hours a day, Krupa alleged, causing unrest and violence during which Hunter hit one inmate worker in the head with a tray and threw urine on another inmate worker.

Nicholson told a corrections officer that he didn’t want to work the ranges, as inmate workers have a say where they want to work, but was allegedly told that if he didn’t work the E and F ranges, he would be fired as an inmate worker.

On May 11, Nicholson noticed both Hunter and Shaw had their cell door tied open with a towel, according to the complaint.

The lawsuit alleged when Nicholson told Bussey and Bronson about the cell door, he was told if he didn’t go on the range to collect trays, he would be fired as an inmate worker.

When Nicholson entered the range, Shaw and Hunter allegedly started throwing trays at and punching Nicholson.

The complaint also claims that Bussey sat with his feet propped up on his desk and watched the attack rather than calling a code, calling for backup or calling for medical attention.

Krupa alleged that the inmates stopped beating Nicholson when he was bleeding everywhere and missing teeth, and Bussey smiled at Nicholson as he walked off the range.

A doctor serving the prison instructed a nurse to immediately send Nicholson to the hospital, but he was placed in a holding cell for over 30 minutes until a shift supervisor insisted Nicholson immediately taken for medical attention.

Krupa wrote that Nicholson’s teeth and mouth became infected, which caused all his upper teeth to be removed, and Nicholson suffered nightmares and emotional trauma from the assault.

Upon returning from the hospital, Nicholson was placed in quarantine for 10 days and was denied a shower and recreation for the first three days. He was then sent to the basement for three days following his quarantine where he had no recreation time and could only shower Monday through Friday.

Nicholson is seeking compensatory, economic and non-economic damages, legal fees and other relief deemed proper by the court.

Charges were filed against Shaw and Hunter.

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