Thursday, 27 August 2020

Florida will pay out $4.65million to inmate, 51, who was 'beaten within an inch of her life' by four male guards, leaving her paraplegic after she asked for medical help for her hip pain

Florida has agreed to pay $4.65million as part of a settlement - possibly the largest of its kind in state history - in a lawsuit claiming that a female inmate was savagely beaten by four prison guards last year, leaving her a paraplegic. 
News of the record-setting payout comes just over a year after Chery Weimer, 51, was attacked by staffers at Lowell Correctional Institution after requesting medical attention for a pain in her hip. 
According to a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Weimer and her husband last September, the woman has lost use of her limbs after having her neck and spinal cord broken, and has spent the past year in prison hooked up to a breathing machine, feeding tubes and catheters. 
Florida inmate Cheryl Weimar will be paid $4.65million as part of a settlement following a brutal attack by four prison guards that left her a paraplegic
Florida inmate Cheryl Weimar will be paid $4.65million as part of a settlement following a brutal attack by four prison guards that left her a paraplegic
Ryan Dionne
Keith Turner
Two of the four guards accused in the case have been named as Ryan Dionne (left) and Keith Turner (right), pictured above in mugshots stemming from past arrests 
As Miami Herald first reported, citing documents from the state Department of Finances, the settlement agreement was reached between the two sides back on August 6.
On Tuesday, a judge ordered Weimar's aggravated battery case closed. She was initially scheduled to be released next October, but now she is expected to regain her freedom early.
In the summer of 2019, Weimar was in the middle of a six-year prison sentence for battery with a deadly weapon and resisting an officer with violence.
Weimar had a history of physical and mental disabilities, and a hip condition that made it difficult for her to walk and perform manual labor, the lawsuit said.
On August 21, 2019, Weimar was cleaning toilets as a prison work assignment at Lowell Correctional Institution when she asked for an accommodation for her physical disability. The guards rejected the request and they began arguing. 
According to the complaint, the confrontation caused an 'adverse psychological episode' and Weimar requested that medical staff be called for her psychological emergency.

Weimar was savagely beaten while on work assignment at Lowell Correctional Institution on August 21, 2019
Weimar was savagely beaten while on work assignment at Lowell Correctional Institution on August 21, 2019 
'Instead, one or more of the [guards] slammed plaintiff Cheryl Weimar to the ground. While down, they brutally beat her with blows to her head, neck, and back,' the lawsuit said. 'At least one John Doe defendant elbowed plaintiff Cheryl Weimar in the back of her neck, causing her to suffer a broken neck.'
The guards then dragged Weimar to a wheelchair 'like a rag doll,' allowing her head to hit the floor repeatedly, and took her outside of the compound, where there were no surveillance cameras, 'so they could continue their brutal attack,' the lawsuit said. She was handcuffed throughout the attack. 
Weimar now has to breathe through a tracheostomy, is being tube-fed and will require round-the-clock medical care for the rest of her life, the lawsuit said.
Ryan Andrews, the attorney filed the lawsuit on behalf of Weimar and her husband, told Fox News last year that it was the worst case of prison abuse in Florida he has ever seen. 
He described his meeting with Weimar as 'one of the most sad' in his career, saying of the disabled woman: 'she couldn’t talk… I had to write the alphabet out so she could nod and wink and tell me what to do.' 
Weimar (left) was attacked while serving a sentence for charges of battery and resisting arrest
Weimar (left) was attacked while serving a sentence for charges of battery and resisting arrest 
Another attorney involved in the case, John M. Vernaglia, told the outlet she was 'beaten within an inch of her life.' 
Only two of the four guards who allegedly took part in the beating have been named as Keith Turner and Ryan Dionne.
In November, the Miami Herald reported that Turner had previously been accused of trading cigarettes for sex, insubordination, harassing inmates and other actions at a Florida prison, according to a news report.
Despite the long history of accusations, Turner had been promoted to lieutenant a few years ago.  
He was finally fired in November after being arrested on charges of sexual battery and child molestation.
Dionne also had a criminal record that included a domestic violence charge, which was ultimately dismissed. He remains employed by the corrections department.  
Weimar, pictured above before her incarceration, requires round-the-clock care that involves a breathing machine, feeding tubes and catheters
Weimar, pictured above before her incarceration, requires round-the-clock care that involves a breathing machine, feeding tubes and catheters 

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