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Thursday, August 24, 2017

When does it stop - Will Franklin ever take responsibility for her actions

NOTE:  The blog erroneously attributed a Morgan County, Tennessee incident to our own county. We have removed the entry and regret the error.  And as always we take responsibility for our actions.

Blogger Comments:  Has Sheriff Ana Franklin taken responsibility for anything that has happened since she took office?  The answer is no.  It looks like she did in the Contempt of Court over inmate food funds, but she didn't.  She told her employees boldly that "I won".  I won.  She didn't but she will never believe it.  She settled with the couple out of South Alabama but she still maintains she won.  In some ways she did she destroyed the lives of two elderly people on their way to work.  If that is winning she won.  Case after case has been brought against the sheriff.  Most of the lawsuits involve inmates.  More should be brought against the Jail Administrator for not stopping the violence within the jail  Sheriff Franklin has had multiple complaints filed against herself and the jail since taking office I am sure some are frivolous however we have seen the results of other cases where inmates were beaten up.  Not all of these people are lying.  Case in point.  One individual was taken away from any and all cameras and his face was smashed in.  One of the jailers admitted that he was taken there intentionally and beaten. According to the corrections officer he tried to hit Deputy Coburn, he deserved it, according to the corrections officer.  Really! The man was handcuffed. Coburn is a bully.  

Morgan deputy, sheriff named in excessive force lawsuit

  • By Evan Belanger Staff Writer

  • By Evan Belanger Staff Writer

A Hartselle man has filed a federal lawsuit against Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin and one of her deputies, alleging the deputy stopped the then 63-year-old without probable cause, punched and choked him, and then stunned him multiple times with a Taser, including once after he was already handcuffed.
The lawsuit brought by Armando de Quesada — who was arrested April 16, 2015, by Deputy Joey Coburn and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing justice — alleges Coburn made an illegal traffic stop without reasonable suspicion, conducted an illegal search and then used excessive force against the now 65-year-old grandfather.
De Quesada, a Cuban refugee who fled the regime of Fidel Castro in 1962 when he was a child, was acquitted of both charges — one by a jury on appeal to Morgan County Circuit Court and one by a judge in the lower District Court.
The lawsuit alleges Franklin also is to blame because she has not done enough to investigate or stop misconduct by her deputies.
“Defendant Franklin’s inaction, despite evidence of misconduct of defendant Coburn and other deputies, is part of a larger pattern and practice of defendant Franklin of tacitly approving and ratifying illegal acts of her deputies,” de Quesada’s attorney, Carl Cole, wrote in court filings.
In a statement released through Barney Lovelace, attorney for the Sheriff’s Office, Franklin called Coburn “a very good law enforcement officer” and said he had a lawful reason to stop de Quesada, whom she said was not compliant at the time of his arrest.
She said she did not know why she was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, because she had nothing to do with de Quesada’s arrest.
“I strongly deny and dispute the claim by Mr. de Quesada’s lawyer, Carl Cole, that I have permitted and encouraged a pattern and practice of misconduct by deputies of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office,” she said. “I am proud of the service of our deputies who face life or death decisions every day in their job trying to protect the citizens of Morgan County.”
Cole said Coburn claimed he stopped de Quesada because his tag light was out but never charged him with such a violation. He also said Coburn drew his gun and pointed it at de Quesada without cause.
“It was undisputed at trial that Armando had been completely cooperative and did nothing contrary to what he was told by the deputy prior to the deputy drawing down on him,” Cole said. “The deputy body-slammed him and charged him with resisting arrest because he claims Armando took his hands off the vehicle while being patted down or handcuffed.”
In court filings, Cole claimed Coburn punched de Quesada and attempted to render him unconscious using a “choke hold.” Unable to subdue the smaller man, Coburn stood back and shot him with a stun gun, the suit alleges.
The suit alleges that after handcuffing de Quesada, Coburn stunned him again with the Taser and left him on the ground for an “extended amount of time.”
Cole said Franklin is named in the suit because she was responsible for training and supervising Coburn, though he admitted she "may very well be dismissed from the lawsuit at some point."
He also said he was surprised there was no dash- or body-camera footage of the incident. Morgan County deputies are not equipped with such devices.
"I'm optimistic that this case will be about more than just Armando's damages and will cause some positive changes that protect both law enforcement officers and the people they engage," Cole said.
In the complaint, Cole noted four other lawsuits — two filed against Franklin and deputies and two filed against only Morgan County deputies — that allege excessive force and other constitutional violations.
Three of those complaints have been dismissed and another stayed, pending the results of an ongoing criminal investigation. A notice of appeal has been filed in one of the dismissed cases.
De Quesada is a regular contributor to The Daily’s letters to the editor section who has at times criticized law enforcement, calling for dash cameras on more than one occasion and at one point saying the county has a "localized form of a police state."
Coburn did not return a request for comment relayed to him through the sheriff. De Quesada is seeking unspecified damages to be determined at trial as well as a permanent injunction barring the defendants from engaging in alleged unlawful conduct in the future.

Family sues over Morgan County jail inmate who died in custody

The family of a man who died in police custody in 2015 has filed a lawsuit claiming that Morgan County jail staff refused him medical care for three days, leading to his death. 
Nicolas Vanuelas Martinez, 66, died April 21, 2015, after months of severe abdominal pain, according to the lawsuit. The filing claims that his condition grew critical April 18, but he was ignored until the day of his death. 
A cell in the Morgan County jail is pictured. (MCSO) ( )
The diagnosis once he was finally taken to the hospital was abdominal pain of an unknown cause, pneumonia, sepsis and cardiopulmonary arrest, the lawsuit states. 
The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court, alleges that Martinez was in April 2011 found incompetent to stand trial on rape and sexual abuse charges. Court records show he had been arrested in 2008 on allegations of sexual abuse of a young relative and a grand jury that year indicted him on additional charges of rape and sodomy. 
When found incompetent, Martinez was placed in Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa for treatment. He was brought back to the Morgan County jail in August 2014 for a formal mental competency hearing. 
The lawsuit states that, in the eight months after Martinez arrived at the county jail, he complained multiple times of abdominal pain, but received no treatment.

Former Blount man sues Morgan County jail


A man who was serving a sentence in Blount County jail says he was badly beaten by Morgan County personnel when he was transferred to Morgan County for the end of his sentence, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Morgan County Circuit Court.
John Scott McBurnette is seeking both punitive and compensatory damages in his lawsuit against Morgan County and various employees and administrators with Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. The suit does not specify total damages being sought other than to say that each individual award should not exceed $5,000,000.
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to a request from The Daily Times for comment on the matter.

Just read the Decatur Daily and


  1. I see you're posting about Morgan County, TN. Did Sheriff Freytag also arrest you?

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