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Federal Judge Upholds $33M Judgment in an OK Inmate’s Death Case, Rejects Request for New Trial

A federal judge says based on the evidence presented at trial, the judgment awarded by the jury to the family of Terral Ellis, Jr. will stand and it is just.

The 26-year-old father from Miami, languished in jail for days before before dying of sepsis and pneumonia on Oct. 22, 2015, while incarcerated at the Ottawa County Jail. After an eight-day federal trial last August, the jury found former Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durburow, in his official capacity, at fault for the death and awarded the Ellis family $33 million in compensatory damages. The judgment is against an elected position not Durburow individually.

“There are a couple of appeal options left, but no decision has yet to been made on which option to take,” said Wellon Poe, attorney for Ottawa County.


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