Richmond sheriff, C. T. Woody is being sued by a former inmate of the Richmond jail who alleges that he was held in error more than 4 months after a judge dismissed charges against him. The former inmate, Darrell Goode, is suing the sheriff for $2.35 million.
Goode’s lawyer, Gary Hershner told the Richmond Times that Goode was imprisoned nearly five months. “He had opportunities to go out and work, and he couldn’t because he was in jail,” Hershner said.
The general counsel for the jail, Tony Pham, admitted that Goode was held in error when he should have been immediately released but the blame doesn’t lie on the jail.
“The error of this person being held was not on the part of the Sheriff’s Office,” Pham said. “The records that we have ordered us to hold this person with no bond.”
Goode ended up in jail after failing to appear for a court hearing regarding unpaid child support. He went before a Richmond Juvenile Domestic Relations District Court judge who dismissed the charges against him. According to the lawsuit filed against Woody, Goode should have been released right then and there.
Instead of enjoying his newfound freedom, Goode was escorted back to jail despite his protests. Goode was eventually held until his next court date on March 31 of this year.
“Several of Sheriff Woody’s employees advised (Goode) that they would look into the matter but apparently never did as the plaintiff remained incarcerated until he appeared in court,” claims the lawsuit.
Upon returning back to court, the judge expressed astonishment that Goode had remained in jail since the last trial. The judge noted that the clerk’s office had instructed the jail and the sheriff’s office to release Goode.
Pham refuted the claims in an email stating that a continued custody order was issued and signed by the clerk ordering Goode’s continued stay in custody until March 2017. Pham added that, “Mr. Goode made no complaints to us that he questioned his custody. As the custodian of individuals committed by the court, we operate by orders.”
This is not Woody’s only lawsuit. He is facing a similar lawsuit filed in March for a similar situation. An inmate is suing Woody stating that the sheriff’s office held him for one month despite being sentenced to house arrest.
At the time, Roy Lee Black was denied necessary medical care. The negligent behavior of the sheriff’s office cost Black his left leg. Black was hospitalized and his left leg was amputated due to the lack in medical care.
Black is also suing Woody for $2.35 million.
According to Pham, the jail has not been served yet with Black’s suit. Pham claims ignorance to the allegations.
From 2011 to 2016 the Richmond Sheriff’s Office and jail cost taxpayers upwards of $6 million in settlements. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch taxpayers spent more time defending the sheriff and jail there in Richmond than any other sheriff or jail in the state.
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