Man sues Mason officials, others for violating his rights

12/17/2008 11:00 AM By Lindsay Bailey  -Cabell Bureau

HUNTINGTON – A Mason County man has sued the Mason County Commission, the sheriff, some deputies and others for violating his rights.

Shawn Barker claims Mason County Sheriff Scott Sims, Sgt. R.E. Fruth II, Cpl. C.A. Varian, Mike Cooper and Danny McCallister violated his Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, according to a complaint originally filed Oct. 7 in Mason County. On Nov. 11, it was removed to federal court.

Barker says he was falsely accused of robbery, held at gunpoint and arrested without evidence.

Barker, who was traveling with friends, goes on to say he was changing a tire on the roadside when McCallister and Cooper arrived and falsely accused him of being involved in a robbery at McCallister’s home.

Barker says he was held at gunpoint until Sgt. Fruth and Cpl. Varian arrived and arrested him without any evidence other than McCallister’s word. They secured Barker’s handcuffs so tightly that they caused lacerations to his wrists.

Barker was charged with breaking and entering after the arresting officer, Cpl. Vance, claimed to have identified Barker on McCallister’s surveillance tapes.

Barker complains that although during criminal proceedings a request was made for the tapes, they never were produced. Because Barker had an alibi at the time of the burglary and Michael Howard Oaks and Paul Eldridge Kaehne pleaded guilty to the robbery, the indictment against Barker was dismissed.

Barker complains McCallister and Cooper held him at gunpoint against his will and refused to allow him to leave the area. The plaintiff also complains Varian and Fruth failed to protect his constitutional rights and conducted an unauthorized, warrantless search and seizure of him. Their negligence also caused the plaintiff emotional distress.

Barker says Sims and the Mason County Commission were negligent by failing to properly supervise and train Varian and Fruth.

He seeks compensation for injuries, losses and damages caused by the defendants conduct. Attorney R.R. Fredrick II is representing the plaintiff.


About Lindsay Bailey

Hi, I'm a senior public relations major/English minor at West Virginia University. I'm interested in writing, camping and having fun. View all posts by Lindsay Bailey

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