Christian County faces a federal lawsuit from a former jail inmate who says his rights were violated and his body battered.
Nathan M. Powers seeks $3 million for compensatory damages, general damages and punitive damages, according to documents filed in federal court on Dec. 23, 2019. Powers names Christian County Sheriff Brad Cole, six sheriff’s deputies and one jail nurse among the defendants.
The sheriff’s office is accused of violating Powers’ rights, causing Powers to suffer bodily injuries by using “more force than was reasonably necessary to arrest or gain control of the victim.” The lawsuit alleges the sheriff, deputies and staff, “intended on engaging in the unlawful conduct and that they did so knowing that it was wrong and unlawful,” and that they were “aware of the Constitutional violation, had an opportunity to intervene, and chose not to do so.”
Powers claims in the lawsuit that he was “brutally assaulted,” by Sheriff Cole himself. Powers said he was detained and not resisting, and accuses Cole of acting to “jump on my back and repeatedly punch me in the back of the head, rendering me unconscious.”
Powers claims he suffered injuries to his neck, back, arms and back of the head.
“None of the injuries were to the front of my body, as I was lying on my stomach with my face in the grass,” Powers wrote in the court documents.
The events in question took place at Powers’ property on Wood Haven Road in Nixa.
Powers wrote that the physical injuries he suffered were severe and that he was refused medical treatment in jail. He also wrote that the emotional and physical damages and pain and suffering are “immeasurable.”
“I am suing every officer involved for multiple reasons,” Powers wrote, claiming that deputies showed, “refusal to treat or acknowledge my injuries, unwillingness of other responding officers to help me, and the fact that Brad Cole should not have been on duty that evening.”
In 2018, Powers was convicted of fourth degree domestic assault, a misdemeanor. Powers was handed down a suspended sentence of one year in jail. He also has a probation violation hearing scheduled in that case. Prosecutors also filed a motion to revoke Powers’ probation on a misdemeanor protection order conviction from 2017.
Power filed a separate federal lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Corrections Board of Probation and Parole, naming a Nixa-based probation officer as a defendant in a $2.5-million civil suit.
Powers alleges that he was “falsely imprisoned” in September 2019 as a direct result of the probation officer’s actions. Powers was arrested and charged with first-degree property damage, a class E felony, in a case that remains outstanding. On Dec. 27, days after Powers filed the federal lawsuit against the Department of Corrections, his defense attorney, Rebekah Wedick, filed a motion for a change of venue in the property damage case.
Powers was held in jail for 15 days, according to documents from the second federal lawsuit. He alleges that a seasonal business venture he was planning in Nixa was “completely destroyed” and that he lost out on “tens of thousands of dollars” invested in a business expected to produce more than $1 million in revenue.
“These acts were calculated and the defendants conspired against me, as evidence will show,” Powers wrote in the federal court document.
Powers has a hearing scheduled Jan. 22, in Ozark, to appear in status hearings on multiple cases in which he faces criminal charges.