Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Paralyzed Man Gets New Attorney

By MIKE WELLS, The Tampa Tribune

Published: March 8, 2008

Brian Sterner, the paralyzed man who was dumped out of a wheelchair by a Hillsborough County jail deputy, has retained a new attorney to represent him, according to the sheriff's office.

Tampa lawyer Michael Maddux notified the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office on Friday he would be replacing Largo lawyer John Trevena as the former inmate's attorney, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

When contacted by The Tampa Tribune, Trevena said he remains Sterner's attorney of record and declined further comment.

Outside his home Friday evening, Sterner also declined to comment.

Maddux said he was hired by Sterner on Thursday.

"The conditions of me getting hired I'm not getting into," he said. He said the details are confidential.

Sterner, 32, is paralyzed from the chest down. On Jan. 29, he was arrested on a traffic-related warrant and brought to Orient Road Jail. He was searched by then-Detention Deputy Charlette Marshall-Jones. A surveillance camera recorded her grabbing the back of the wheelchair and dumping Sterner to the floor before he was searched.

The video spread across the Internet, prompting an outcry from the public and the formation of an independent jail review board. Marshall-Jones was charged with felony adult abuse and resigned.

Reporter Josh Poltilove and News Channel 8 reporter Samara Sodos contributed to this report. Reporter Mike Wells can be reached at (813) 259-7839 or mwells

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