Vermilion

May 5, 2014 7:36 AM by AP

Suit alleges man beaten to death in parish jail

FRANKLIN, La. (AP) - A lawsuit filed in St. Mary Parish district court alleges that a 41-year-old Baldwin man was beaten to death in the parish jail in April 2013.

Anthony Wilson was arrested for failing to show up in court for a traffic ticket.

"Mr. Wilson was taken into custody and he never came out of jail . He was battered from the top of his head to his knees," his family's attorney, Alfreda Bester, told the St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune reports.

The suit alleges that Wilson had no injuries when he was arrested but his autopsy found that he died from blunt trauma to the head and also had multiple bruises, scrapes and cuts to his eyebrow and inside one of his lips, and injured arms and knees.

Sheriff Mark Hebert does not comment on pending litigation, Spokeswoman Traci Landry said.

In a news release just after Wilson's death, Hebert said Wilson died three days after other inmates told guards he had collapsed.

Bester said the coroner's report lists blunt force trauma as a cause of death.

"Mr. Wilson was not a violent man and there is no indication he was ever a violent man," Bester said. "We do not have all the details, but we know that something happened in that jail."

The suit contends that "the assault and battery . could only have been committed by deputies" or other sheriff employees or by "violent inmates who were not properly monitored and/or supervised by the SMPSO."

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