The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Civil suit goes to trial


April 25, 2018

CLOVIS — With a jury in place Monday and outstanding motions heard in court Tuesday, a civil lawsuit over three years in the making against Curry County continues to trial today in Clovis.

Weston Peasnall seeks over $60,000 in damages, claiming the county violated the Whisteblower Protection Act in 2014 when jail staff allegedly retaliated against him for trying to modify his report concerning the strip search of a detainee, records show. He resigned his position as a corrections officer at the jail in August that year, claiming he was forced into leaving the job due to “continuous harassment,” according to the 2015 complaint.

Judge Donna Mowrer approved a motion last week to exclude video and other details of the alleged use of excessive force from trial, and approved motions Tuesday afternoon to exclude from evidence other documents pertaining to the jail’s Tazer procedure and search policy.

Attorney Brian Evans, representing the defendant Curry County Board of Commissioners, said Peasnall’s attorney Eric Dixon “would rather turn this (trial) into a referendum ... on how the jail was run, or how the county was run.”

Mowrer approved motions from Dixon for a few former jail officers to testify during the three-day trial, with a jury consisting of seven men, five women and two female alternates.


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