ANDERSON — About two months after being released from prison, David Michael Jones has filed a $50 million civil rights lawsuit against Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings and two deputy prosecutors.
Jones alleges that officials deliberately ignored state laws and decisions of the Supreme Court of Indiana by filing untimely amendments to charges against him.
“As a direct result of the official policy, longstanding practice or custom of the Madison County Prosecutor, Mr. Jones was incarcerated for more than a decade and suffered extreme emotional distress and other physical and mental injury and damages,” according to the lawsuit filed June 28 in the United States Southern District Court of Indiana.
In 2005, Jones was sentenced to concurrent terms of 20 years for criminal confinement, enhanced by 25 years for being a habitual offender; eight years for battery resulting in serious bodily injury; and three years for intimidation.
The battery conviction was reduced to a Class B misdemeanor with a six-month sentence by the trial court prior to an appeal for double jeopardy concerns, according to court records. The earliest possible release date from the Indiana Department of Correction for Jones was set for Aug. 20, 2028.
Jones, however, appealed his criminal confinement charge through the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit after showing that the state moved nine days after his omnibus date to amend his charges and add the “new and highly consequential charge,” according to federal court records.
The appeals court ruled the amendment was untimely and prosecutors are not allowed to make substantive amendments to pending charges within 30 days of an omnibus date.
On May 3, Madison Circuit Court Division 6 Judge Mark Dudley vacated the criminal confinement charge as ordered by the federal court and Jones was released from prison.
Jones specifically names Cummings along with Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steve Koester and Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Kopp in his lawsuit, which states that the deputy prosecutors “acted with deliberate indifference, maliciously prosecuted, and committed abuse of process against plaintiff under state law,” according to the filing.
Jones is seeking general damages “for confinement not less than $50 million as well as compensatory damages for the past and future physical and emotional injuries, severe emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, medical expenses, loss of earnings, and loss of earning capacity, sustained as a result of defendants’ deliberate indifference to, or reckless disregard for, his constitutional rights,” according to his lawsuit.
When Jones was released, Cummings said he was not worried that Jones would file a lawsuit against the state.
Cummings said Jones was released early on a technicality and noted that a jury convicted him in the case and not all of the convictions were overturned.
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