Abbeville Police denied that they killed Jones. They say Jones died AFTER being arrested, examined at Abbeville General Hospital and then transported to the Iberia Parish jail. The police claim that he died in a holding cell at the jail.
The suit, filed in state 16th Judicial District Court, names a variety of individuals from the Sheriff’s Department. The lawsuit gives the following account of what allegedly happened to Jones after he was booked into the Iberia Parish jail:
Warden Frank Ellis had noticed Jones “exposing himself, dancing around, pulling off his underwear, yelling, screaming and making strange sounds.”Meanwhile, Assistant District Attorney Bobby Odinet said they determined that no criminal charges are warranted and there are no plans to bring the case before a grand jury. He declined to comment on the civil lawsuit.
When Ellis, Deputy Wesley “Kool Aid” Hayes and nurse Stephanie Celestine opened Jones’ cell to speak with him, Jones began screaming and ran out of the cell.
Ellis and Hayes wrestled and slammed Jones onto the concrete floor; Jones then bit Ellis, and then Hayes began choking Jones.
Ellis smashed his large body over Jones’ lower body while Hayes, who weighed more than 300 pounds, continued choking Jones as he pressed his knees into Jones’ back and neck.
Hayes’ brother, Deputy Jesse Hayes, jumped on Jones and began punching him.
Jones was then handcuffed and shackled while the beating continued.
After several more minutes, Wesley Hayes released Jones, who remained motionless on the concrete floor.
Celestine checked Jones’ pulse, but no one attempted to administer first aid. Instead, Wesley Hayes and Jesse Hayes dragged Jones “dead, naked, handcuffed and shackled” into another cell and left him there.
Acadian Ambulance responded at some point and found that Jones was dead.
Several inmates allegedly witnessed the attack and offered statements for the suit.
A state autopsy indicated a wide array of injuries, including abrasions, neck compressions, blunt force trauma to the head, torso and upper and lower extremities, the suit alleges, and the autopsy confirmed that Jones was strangled.
The Jones family understands that the civil courts may be the only way to bring justice against the powers-that-be in this case.