Convicted murderer Pablo Maldonado may have left Newton County for death row, but the lawsuits he filed still linger on, including one against the Newton County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Ezell Brown and several NCSO deputies working in the jail.
A civil suit filed in late 2011 requests damages for Maldonado's pain, suffering and emotional distress, punitive damages and attorney's fees and litigation expenses. During his murder trial, District Attorney Layla Zon told jurors that Maldonado was actually suing for $7 million.
In the lawsuit, Maldonado said that Brown is responsible because "he was responsible for knowing what was actually going on in the Newton County Sheriff's Office and at the Newton County Jail." And that 11 others, including Captain Sammy Banks, who is in charge of the jail, "conspired to operate and did operate outside the scope of their office...with intent to deprive Plaintiff (Maldonado) of his rights."
The accusations begin in December of 2009, just six months after Maldonado was arrested and brought to the Newton County Jail. In the lawsuit, he alleges that while he was filing a grievance form against the jailers, that person "came up behind him and threw Plaintiff in his cell causing his head to hit the floor and bleed... Then punched Plaintiff in the face and kicked him in the ribs, head and arm," then denied him medical attention.
Maldonado also alleges that his cellmate (who was serving time for rape, was 5 feet, 11-inches and weighed 280 pounds) punched him in the face, slammed him against a table and raped him. Maldonado's request to switch cells was denied. He also said that medical attention was denied him following the reported rape.
In May of 2010, Maldonado alleges that another jailer spit in his face and used a racial slur. He also said he was sexually assaulted once again by his cellmate; during the assault, he said he pushed a button in his cell for help and a jailer came 30-40 minutes later and, despite being told what happened, told Maldonado that if he pushed the call button again, he would be placed in lock down. He said the cellmate then "choked Plaintiff, tied his mouth shut and raped him." Maldonado said he was denied medical treatment again. Late in the month, he alleged that his cellmate "kicked him, threatened to kill him, and made him perform oral sex on him for two hours."
In July of 2010, Maldonado claimed that his cellmate punched him in the ribs and strangled him, causing him to wet his pants.
The lawsuit says that since reporting the incidents, the jail staff and employees had been retaliating against him, including handcuffing and shackling him to a chair, hitting him in the chest, kicking him in the face and burning him on the hip with a lighter, telling him he "drop his pro se lawsuit."
He has also filed a suit in late 2011, stating that Newton County Superior Court Judge Horace Johnson, who presided over Maldonado's case, has "step outside his official duty a a judge to oppress and torture Plaintiff psychologically, have help the state (DA) in any way and by any means to humble Mr. Maldonado, in this particular situation by strapping a 50,000 volts machine to its kidney and handcuff and shackled up to the teeth," referring to the stun belt that Maldonado was forced to wear when in court.
Maldonado also accused Zon of "outrageously and discriminatory misconduct against Plaintiff. She has sabotage Plaintiff defense and/or weaken it severely to the point that Plaintiff won't be able to repute her case."
In the lawsuit, he again names Sheriff Brown, saying that "Mr. Brown don't care of Plaintiff rights. When Plaintiff asked Brown that he is violating my rights by ordering his deputy to strap that 50,000 volts machine to my back, Mr. Brown said to me that he rather violate my rights than see someone get killed because he was not cautious about a situation. That comment was so racial and prejudicial towards Plaintiff and the inference was that I'm a murderer and can potentially murder someone else and he rather see Plaintiff get hurt fatally by the machine than one of his people."
In addition to these lawsuits filed in Federal court, Maldonado also filed a suit locally in Superior Court regarding the items purchased in the jail’s commissary. He was upset because a bag of pork rinds he purchased. In the claim he said that the snack was marked as being both barbecue and hot, and although the pork rinds were hot, they were not barbecue. Maldonado also took offense to Cajun trial mix and items that he believed were left out of his indigent package supplied by the jail.