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May 17, 2024

Shelby County Sheriff, Advanced Correctional Healthcare Inc., and Several Corrections Officers Named In Federal Lawsuit

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 15, 2021

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

The Shelby County Sheriff is now faced with more than just possible criminal charges for the sale of seized weapons and alleged payroll fraud, which we understand a charging decision is in the hands of the Attorney General after Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke recused herself from that case.

Nicholas Banning has filed a federal civil case against Sheriff Koonze, Advanced Correctional Healthcare Inc, and Corrections Officers Cwenton Williams, Tonya Atteberry, Devon Durbin, Megan Warner, Melissa Haynes, Brandon Gatton, Chris Zakowski, and Daine Burkhead.

According to the lawsuit filed April 27th, 2021, in part:

  • “Mr. Banning was in obvious need of emergency medical care resulting from opioid dependency and withdrawal, and developed asphyxia pneumonia and other serious medical problems, requiring hospitalization for two months.”
  • “Correctional officers at the Jail were aware of Mr. Banning’s condition and medical needs and failed to contact medical providers and otherwise provide adequate medical care for Mr. Banning in violation of the law and Mr. Banning’s constitutional rights.”
  • “Correctional staff noted that Mr. Banning would be going through withdrawal on jail intake records and in other reports/emails.”
  • “Furthermore, Defendant Williams noted in a March 6, 2020, email that Mr. Banning last used heroin at 3:00 pm and will be coming down hard.”
  • “No supervising officers of the Jail or Shelby County Sheriff’s Office responded to the correctional officers’ reports of Mr. Banning’s deteriorating condition by providing or ordering medical care for Mr. Banning.”
  • On March 9, 2020, Defendant Atteberry noted that Mr. Banning could not get up, was hyperventilating and could not speak to the public defender or attend bond court.”
  • “On March 10, 2020, Mr. Banning was released on his own recognizance because his condition had severely deteriorated as the result of the Defendants’ failure to render medical aid and refusal to do so.”
  • “On March 10, 2020, the Jail transferred Mr. Banning to HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital’s emergency department where medical staff noted that he was found unresponsive face down on bed in jail, and that he was hyperventilating, had diminished right lung breathing sounds, cyanotic skin, cracked and frothy lips, mottled and cool extremities and yellow bruising on his right chest wall.
  • “ACH, in pitching its contract for jail medical services to various counties, has stated that the company avoids major costs by having persons in custody with the worst medical emergencies released on their own recognizance or “sent somewhere else” so ACH and the county can avoid responsibility for their care and the costs associated with it.”
  • “On March 10, 2020, at the prosecution’s request, based on communications with one or more of the Defendant Correctional Officers, a judge ordered Mr. Banning released on his own recognizance due to his dire condition.”
  • “On March 10, 2020, emergency medical personnel came to the Jail and found Mr. Banning unable to move and observed blood in the bed he had been lying on.”

A copy of the lawsuit can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.






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