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ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) – The state of Mississippi is asking to be dismissed defendant in the federal civil lawsuit that alleges former Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Hughes used excessive force while on duty as a law enforcement officer.

John Hawn of Saltillo argues in the civil lawsuit that Hughes beat him after he failed to stop at a roadblock Hughes was conducting in 2012.

Attorney General Jim Hood argued in the motion filed Wednesday that Mississippi Commissioner of Public Safety Albert Santa Cruz is protected from the lawsuit by sovereign immunity.

Trial is set for Oct. 6 in Aberdeen.

Hughes is currently serving a 33-month federal sentence after he pleaded guilty in 2013 to depriving a woman of her civil rights by beating her in the Lee County jail.

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