Verdict Reached in Lawsuit Against Wichita County

Published 08/22 2014 03:18PM

Updated 08/22 2014 04:40PM

After two weeks in a federal courthouse in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a 9-person jury throws out a lawsuit against Wichita County and Sheriff David Duke from a woman claiming false arrest.

The Wichita County District Attorney's Office, which was helping a private attorney defend Duke and the county, says the jury returned after a short deliberation this afternoon and ruled against all Donna Johnson's claims. Johnson claims she was falsely arrested in Tennessee for theft on a warrant from the Wichita County Sheriff's Office.

The arrest came after a long running dispute over photographs Johnson was supposed to shoot of the sheriff's staff. Johnson also claims she was abused by staff in a detention center in Chattanooga.

The jury rejected the woman's claims her civil rights were violated by the county and sheriff. The county's legal team argued the woman was operating a scam photography business, stealing thousands from law enforcement offices across the country.

Meredith Kennedy of the district attorney's office says the county is entitled to apply for recovery of its legal defense costs, but a decision on that has not been made yet.

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