Family of mentally incompetent man jailed in Clay County sues for millions
Relatives of a Mississippi man found mentally incompetent are seeking justice and suing over his 11-year detention in a county jail
ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) – Relatives of a Mississippi man found mentally incompetent are seeking justice and suing over his 11-year detention in a county jail.
37-year-old Steven Jessie Harris spent 11 years in the Clay County Detention Center. On Tuesday, his sister-in-law filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in Aberdeen, demanding at least $11 million for the years Harris spent in the Clay County jail.
The suit accuses Clay County, two sheriffs, a former district attorney, and three state court judges of violating Harris’ rights.
Mississippi has continuing problems with mentally ill people who have been detained in local jails despite efforts to increase treatment resources. Harris was arrested in 2005 on charges that he killed his father, injured police officers as well as carjacked a woman.
He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2007 and later found incompetent; however, Harris remained in jail until 2022.
The trial is set to start on Tuesday in federal court in Oxford. Attorney Carlos Moore said he will be representing Harris and expects the trial to last three weeks.
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