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Parents of dead Washington County inmate sue sheriff's office

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) -

The parents of a former Washington County, Tennessee inmate who died on April 29th are suing the county, Sheriff Ed Graybeal, and six corrections officers for more than $20 million, alleging their son died as a result of injuries sustained during a beating inside the jail.

The lawsuit was filed July 6th in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville.

It was filed by attorneys for Joe and Natasha Peppers, who are the parents of Stewart Peppers.

Peppers died while in the Washington County Detention Center in April.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege Peppers began shouting obscenities at jail personnel while in his cell on April 29th.

The lawsuit states that six corrections officers entered the cell and began to beat Peppers.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege the corrections officers than strapped Peppers to a restraint chair and struck him repeatedly in the face while also using chemical spray and electrical tasers.

The lawsuit states that after the beating, the defendants laid Peppers on the floor and began to perform CPR.

The plaintiffs believe a video recording of the incident was captured by the jail's surveillance system, and it is now in the hands of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs believe Peppers rights as a pretrial detainee were violated when the defendants used excessive force against him.

The plaintiffs are asking for $20 million in compensatory damages, and an additional one million dollars for loss consortium.

The TBI is currently investigating what led up to Peppers death, as well as the death of another former inmate, Charles Frederick Young III, who died in the same week.

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