A bank robber beaten by police after a 2010 high-speed chase has agreed to settle his lawsuit against former Jefferson County Sheriff Robert Shirley and six sheriff’s deputies, his attorney said Wednesday.
Attorney Harry P. Waddell said the West Virginia Counties Risk Pool will pay his client Mark Daniel Haines $90,000, and claims will be dismissed against Shirley and a total of six Berkeley and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies.
State Police Trooper Joseph Bush has refused to settle, said Waddell, who filed a motion May 15 to add two former Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Police Department officers to the civil lawsuit, which is pending in U.S. District Court.
Shirley was re-elected last year while under indictment, but resigned and pleaded guilty to violating Haines’ civil rights in January.
He was sentenced to a year in prison earlier this month and is being held at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville, W.Va., until the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has a bed for him.
The U.S. Marshal’s Service said precautions are being taken to ensure Shirley’s safety while he awaits a transfer.
U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey rejected pleas that Shirley be allowed to report on his own to a federal facility, saying he was worried about the ex-sheriff’s mental state.
A retired state trooper and three community leaders told Bailey that Shirley, 61, has long been an asset to his Eastern Panhandle community and would thrive under third-party supervision on probation. But they also said he hit an emotional low point last fall when his wife filed for divorce and a friend committed suicide.
The one-year sentence he got is less than the 33-month term recommended under federal sentencing guidelines, but Bailey said “any amount of prison time ... is going to be very difficult for him.”
The beating was captured on a police vehicle’s surveillance video.
Waddell’s motion to amend the complaint and add the former Shepherdstown officers in the case was filed May 15 after Haines’ attorney said he received an anonymous letter.
Waddell recounted Wednesday how he initially filed the case against Shirley and a number of “John Does,” not knowing the identities of any of the other officers.
The settlement reached Friday includes Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies Joseph Forman and Terry Palmer, and Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputies J.H. Jenkins, C. Merson, Corey Welcome and T.A. Sherman, according to court documents.
Waddell said he and his client are pleased with the settlement, but also acknowledged the amount could have been higher had his client been an innocent party.
“You’re looking at a plaintiff that isn’t exactly pristine,” Waddell said.
Haines was sentenced in May 2012 to nearly 19 years in prison and three years of probation after pleading guilty to the Dec. 22, 2010, robbery of a BB&T branch in Martinsburg.
The case against Shirley and other officers stemmed from Haines’ arrest in December 2010 after his failed attempt to rob City National Bank in Ranson, W.Va.
The civil lawsuit indicated Haines, who led police on a vehicle chase from Jefferson County into Berkeley County, suffered scrapes and bruises on his face and back, a hemorrhage in his right eye, and a broken nose, rib and eye socket.