A number of inmates are suing the Vernon County Jail in western Missouri’s Nevada, its jailers, and the Sheriff, alleging they are hosting ‘fight nights’ using inmates.
“They’ve been urging inmates to fight one another,” attorney Dustin Dunfield explains.
His client, inmate Alexander Trexel, calls it a ‘fight night’, which he says makes the jail an unsafe place. “He’s scared for his well-being,” Dunfield adds.
The court affidavit says jailers are “not only aware of the situation, but are active participants.”
“When he tells them they’re going to fight, they feel they have no choice,” says Dunfield.
Trexel says he sustained physical injuries from the fights including one requiring stitches above his right eye.
“He’s reported to me that at least nine times, he been made to take part in what’s called ‘fight night’,” Dunfield continues. “If he doesn’t take part, this particular inmate who’s in charge of things will fight them himself.”
Legal claims include assault and violation of constitutional rights by the jailers. The lawsuit also includes the sheriff and the county as well. Dunfield blames staffing issues.
“They’re hiring individuals as jailers who are under-trained, they’re understaffed, they’re understaffed because we’re housing inmates from Greene County,” says Dunfield.
The sheriff’s office wouldn’t comment on any of the allegations but Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher says this:
“Any allegations that anyone makes against our jail we take seriously.”
According to court documents, the sheriff knew the fight nights were happening and made no attempt to solve the problem. Dunfield claims the jail let this happen for entertainment.
This story is written by KODE TV in Joplin