Estate of Carroll Co. woman had sought $10M

Published 1:24 am Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Carroll County in 2006 by the estate of a woman who died in the back of a sheriff’s deputy’s squad car.

The family of Debbie Loggins had sought $10 million from the county. The lawsuit was dismissed in May a federal judge in Aberdeen.

U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock ruled in May that Loggins’ death did not result from force used by three deputies when they arrested her Sept. 17, 2005.

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A $15 million lawsuit against the deputies — Michael Spellman, Charles Jones and David Mims — was dismissed in 2006.

Loggins’ family appeared to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has placed the case on its docket for arguments on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.

Carroll County attorneys had argued that Loggins’ death had nothing to do with the actions of the deputies.

Loggins, 33, of North Carrollton, had been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She was unconscious when she arrived at a private prison in Grenada, authorities said.

Deputies had arrested Loggins, the mother of six, after responding to a report of two women fighting. Two hours later, Loggins was dead.

Authorities said an autopsy showed no signs or evidence of trauma.

Loggins’ family contended the victim’s civil rights were denied while she was in the custody of the sheriff’s deputies.

Authorities contended that Loggins fought and struggled from the time deputies arrived until somewhere near Grenada.

The complaint alleged a deputy had Loggins’ hands cuffed behind her back and her feet shackled, and that the officers “hog-tied” the woman by taking a set of handcuffs and linking the cuffs on her wrists to the ones on her ankles.

Then, the complaint said, the deputies placed Loggins face-down on the back seat of Mims’ car and took her to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, where Loggins was transferred to another patrol car.

When Loggins arrived at the Grenada jail, the complaint said, she didn’t have a pulse.