Judge: No evidence of conspiracy to assault late inmate

A Mississippi sheriff says a suit brought by the family of an inmate who died in jail in 2016 has led to a federal judge ruling in favor of his office

NATCHEZ, Miss. -- A Mississippi sheriff says a U.S. District judge has ruled in favor of his county in a lawsuit alleging a former jailer conspired with inmates in an assault on another man in jail who was found dead the same day.

The Natchez Democrat quotes Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten in a Thursday report as saying the case regarding 32-year-old Joseph Sturdivant concluded Tuesday.

Sturdivant's family sued the county and sheriff's office after he was found dead in March 2016, hanging by a noose apparently tied with bed sheets. A preliminary autopsy at the time, prior to the family's lawsuit, ruled his death a suicide.

The suit alleged the ex-jailer conspired with four inmates to allow them entry to Sturdivant's cell, and that the county failed to protect him. The judge ruled no evidence supported the allegations.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/