Civil suit filed in Llano inmate death case
November 09, 2012, 1:00 pm by Adam Troxtell
The mother of a Llano County Jail inmate who died last year while incarcerated from self-inflicted head trauma has filed a civil lawsuit for wrongful death in an Austin federal court.
Shirley Appell filed the suit Thursday, claiming Llano County Jail officials are at least partly responsible for the death of her son, Shawn Appell, after he was found dead in his cell on Aug. 11 of last year. Autopsy reports confirmed Appell died from repeatedly hitting his head against the concrete in the cell.
"Llano County and the jail guards knew Shawn was beating his head against a wall,” Michelle Smith, attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project who is representing Appell’s mother, said. "They heard him banging his head, took him to a hospital, and put him right back in a cell and let him continue to bang his head. They could have stopped in any number of ways – putting him in a helmet, restraining him, or taking him back to the hospital. They ignored him instead.”
Llano County Sheriff Bill Blackburn referred inquiries about the civil suit to Austin attorney Mike Shaunessy, who represents the Llano County Jail in civil matters. Shaunessy was out of state Thursday and could not be reached.
For the full story, see Friday's Highlander.
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