Lawsuit filed against Whitley County Sheriff, deputy alleges beating on roadside

A lawsuit was filed in Federal Court in London on July 5 against Whitley County Sheriff Todd Shelley and Deputy Chad Estep over an incident that is alleged to have occurred in July 2020.

The lawsuit alleges that during a traffic stop on Louden Road in Williamsburg on July 7 of last year, Estep “brutally beat” the plaintiff. The lawsuit goes on to say that there are six eyewitnesses to the incident.

The plaintiff didn’t receive any medical attention until 13 days later when he was found “completely unresponsive while using the restroom.” He was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He was unable to speak (aphasic) and had lost function on his right side. After a CT scan, “it was discovered he had a large left frontal parietal intracerebral hemorrhage (brain bleed),” the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit goes on to say, “Upon information and belief, the Plaintiff’s condition was a direct result of the beating that he took at the hands of Estep just 13 days prior.”

The plaintiff alleges that Estep has received no formal training, "including, but not limited to,” training on the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.  The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Sheriff Shelly is named in the lawsuit for failure to “employ qualified persons for positions of authority in the Sheriff’s Department.”

The lawsuit is seeking damages for assault and battery, gross negligence, negligence, negligent training, negligent supervision, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and outrageous conduct. The suit seeks punitive damages, as well as lost wages the plaintiff should be entitled to recover due to his injuries.

No statement was issued by the Sheriff’s Department as of late July.

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