Sheriff Issues Apology For Williams' Death

Harrison County Sheriff George Payne released an apology Tuesday to the family of Jessie Lee Williams. Payne's statement comes one day after the county settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the Williams Family for $3.5 million.

The news release from the Sheriff's Department reads as follows:

Sheriff George Payne has announced his deepest sympathies for the Williams Family and hopes that we in Harrison County can move forward as we work to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. 

Williams died in February 2006 after being beaten at the jail. His death brought a demand for change at the Harrison County Jail, and a federal investigation, which found a pattern of abuse there. Five former deputies have pleaded guilty to abuse related charges. Four others are set to stand trial next month.