FORT MYERS, Fla.- A former DeSoto County inmate is seeking millions of dollars in damages from county law enforcement.
Jody Holland made headlines last spring when a sheriff's deputy was accused of beating him up in jail. Several other officers were charged with covering it up.
Holland's lawyer, Wendell Locke, filed a multimillion dollar civil lawsuit in federal court Friday. The suit names six people with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff William Wise.
Locke told WINK News $3.5 million could be the bare minimum when it comes to compensating Holland.
"We may find that once we get into the case, that theres more to the story," Locke said. "Maybe more cover-up, which may make it even more egregious on the level of punitive damages, so that number could increase."
Holland was arrested last April by a DeSoto County deputy. He was charged with beating his fiance, nurse at the DeSoto County Jail. Holland was eventually released, but arrested and jailed again for allegedly violating a restraining order.
During Holland's stints behind bars, he was allegedly beaten multiple times.
Charges against Holland were later dropped.
"He was emotionally and psychologically traumatized," Locke said. "Physically, this guy's been battered, and he's actually -- he's going to have to see a neurologist to get some of his issues resolved."
Dale Scott, who arrested Holland last year, is named as a defendant in the suit, as well as Steven Rizza, the deputy accused of beating Holland. A corrections officer, a detention deputy and a captain with the sheriff's office are also named as defendants for allegedly covering up the abuse.
State and federal investigators will continue their ongoing probes into this case.
In February, former Capt. Ray Kugler, a co-defendant in the lawsuit, was sentenced to three years of probation for his role in the beating.
The DeSoto County Sheriff's Office denied WINK News' request for comment.