Judge dismisses part of lawsuit against four Jackson Co. cops

James Hagan (Photo source: WLOX)
James Hagan (Photo source: WLOX)

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A federal judge has dismissed several parts of a lawsuit brought by former Ocean Springs Alderman James Hagan against four Jackson County Sheriff's detectives.

Hagan filed the suit following the dismissal of all charges in his 2011 arrest where he was charged with molestation, possession of child porn and embezzlement after deputies seized computers from his home.

A grand jury dismissed the embezzlement and molestation charges last summer saying there was not enough evidence against Hagan to indict him. Soon after, the state dropped the child porn charge citing lack of evidence.

Hagan alleges the four detectives, Hope Thorton, Linda Jones, Eddie Clark and Chad Heck, violated his civil rights in their investigation in relation to his arrest.

According to court documents obtained by WLOX, U.S. District Judge Halil Ozerden dismissed four of the five federal claims against the four deputies based on qualified immunity. Ozerdon let stand the part of the lawsuit that alleges malicious prosecution.

The attorney representing the deputies, Jimmy Heidelberg, released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying, "I am very pleased that the court chose to grant our motion. These deputies have been sued in their individual capacity, and we are confident the last claim will be dismissed in due course."

Hagan's lawsuit asked for $30 million in actual and punitive damages. Hagan's attorney, Adam Miller, declined to comment on the ruling.

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