Judge dismisses inmate death suit against sheriff’s office

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (AP) – A federal judge has dismissed an inmate death lawsuit against the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The Johnson City Press reports a judge ruled Monday that Stewart Peppers’ parents failed to present concrete evidence and facts supporting the claim that the use of excessive force caused Peppers’ death while he was in jail in 2013.

Joe and Natasha Peppers filed suit against the county, the sheriff and six jailers, saying their son was beaten by detention officers, restrained, pepper sprayed and Tasered.

An autopsy found Stewart Peppers died of “excited delirium” due to drug use.

County officials have said he became unresponsive while jailers were trying to restrain him due to “combative, bizarre and destructive behavior.”