Inmate Jody Holland is claiming through his attorney that jailers beat him three times, while he was in the Desoto Co. jail in Arcadia. Sheriff William Wise says he has put two corrections deputies on administrative leave.
"This is outrageous and shocking. To have a person beaten this severely while in jail on charges, is unconscionable. It reminds me of the civil rights period when people were in jail, presumed innocent, and they were violated this way," says Mark Zimmerman of Sarasota, lawyer for Holland.
Sheriff Wise confirms that the Fl Dept. of Law Enforcement and the FBI have sent agents to Arcadia to check out the complaints by Holland.
Zimmerman released to WINK News, several photos showing a bruised and battered Holland. The lawyer says in one case, the jailers choked Holland so hard that he couldn't breathe. One picture shows severe bruising on his neck and upper chest.
Zimmerman says Holland was jailed after a woman who works for the sheriff pressed charges of battery and violating a restraining order against him. Zimmerman suggests the deputies were beating Holland as a pay-back for what he is charged with doing to their colleague in the sheriff's office.
Holland recently was moved to another jail, outside DeSoto County. But his health care still is being handled by DeSoto, and Zimmerman wants a court to end that. The lawyer would like to get Holland transferred to the county jail in Sarasota.