Widow brings Kirbyville police to court over husband’s asphyxiation

By Carol Ostrow | May 15, 2015

A Jefferson County woman brought a lawsuit against a Jasper County municipality and two of its officers for her husband’s allegedly wrongful death in 2013.

Shawntel Breed filed individually, as estate representative for Dustin Keith Jones, and as next friend of minors Dustin Jones and Ceniya Jones, against the city of Kirbyville, Chief Paul Brister and officer Josh Hancock in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas May 13, claiming gross negligence in May of 2013.

The suit states that when Brister and Hancock assaulted the decedent while detaining him in an attempt to serve a warrant on or about May 14, 2013, Dustin Keith Jones became non-responsive and died of asphyxiation. The complaint asserts that the officers placed him in a headlock and chokehold after assaulting him on the head and shoulders.

Alleging violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, the complaint alleges municipal liability in the use of excessive force, inadequate training and deliberate indifference to the decedent’s rights.

The plaintiff cites physical pain and mental anguish for her husband, lost companionship and society, pecuniary damages, and loss of inheritance, as well as funeral and burial costs. The plaintiff seeks compensation for damages, attorney’s fees, expenses and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Ronnie Turner Jr., James Payne and Jennifer Job of Provost*Umphrey Law firm in Beaumont.

Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas Case 1:15-cv-00190

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