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Jail abuse victim saves deputy from trial

Charlette Marshall-Jones, the former Hillsborough County detention deputy who gained notoriety after dumping a quadriplegic from his wheelchair during the booking process, has entered a pretrial intervention program.

Prosecutors say the request for the intervention program, which spares Marshall-Jones from a trial, came from an unlikely source: Brian Sterner, the victim who had been dumped to the jailhouse floor.

Sterner's attorney, Michael Maddux, said his client was never out for blood.

"I think it's about having a sense of reasonableness," Maddux said. "The situation is definitely tragic for him, but he's not a vindictive person. And he's trying to exercise an act of forgiveness, to be honest."

Sterner isn't waiving his right to pursue civil claims, however. Maddux said Marshall-Jones could still be named in litigation.

If Marshall-Jones successfully completes the diversion program, her criminal charges will be dropped. To do that, she must complete the standard program with two special conditions: She has to perform 100 community service hours with disabled individuals and surrender her certification to be a detention deputy.

Those conditions were suggested by Sterner, Maddux said. Sterner hopes his plight will help raise awareness for how disabled residents are treated.

Marshall-Jones had already resigned from her position in February. She had been a detention deputy since 1986.

"She's happy that this matter is concluded. She wants to get on with her life, and this a way to do so," said her attorney, Norman Cannella Sr.

Marshall-Jones was not in court this morning.

Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said it was Sterner who approached prosecutors asking that Marshall-Jones be allowed to enter pretrial intervention instead of going to trial. Prosecutors were agreeable to the option because Marshall-Jones is a first-time offender, Bondi said.

Jail abuse victim saves deputy from trial 06/30/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 5:13pm]
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