- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office has agreed to a $400,000 settlement in a federal lawsuit filed by an inmate allegedly beaten by guards last year. That’s according to documents released Tuesday by the sheriff’s office.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1MFIvN6) two former deputies still face criminal charges in the case.

Jason Brungardt, 42, was hospitalized for three days with a punctured lung and fractured ribs.

The Sheriff’s Office fired four deputies believed to be involved soon after the April 2014 incident, and all four were arrested two months later following a State Police investigation.

The District Attorney’s Office has moved forward with prosecuting only the two deputies alleged to have actually struck Brungardt- Brandon Gallien, 29, and Michael G. McSheffrey, 35.

They both face charges of second-degree battery and malfeasance in office.

Two other deputies - Adrian Theriot, 29, and Scarla Celestine, 34 - were accused of failing to intervene or report the incident.

Brungardt alleged in the lawsuit that deputies kicked him about 12 times while he lay “defenseless on the ground” and then falsified reports in an attempt to cover up the beating.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Babin declined comment.

“The settlement speaks for itself,” he wrote in an email.

The settlement was covered by the Sheriff’s Office Insurance.

Brungardt’s attorney, Clay Burgess, said his client is now living in Kansas.

“We are pleased with the amount of the settlement,” Burgess said. “We will leave it up to the District Attorney’s Office to properly process the criminal charges.”

At the time of the incident, Brungardt was being held on counts of second-degree battery, aggravated assault and possession of marijuana.

Those charges are still pending.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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