United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE
This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He proceeds in forma pauperis and pro se.
The case is before me for preservice screening under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the obligation to
screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
According to the allegations of the Complaint, on September 11, 2011, Plaintiff was
arrested and charged with the second degree murder of Christopher Palmer. Palmer died of a
stab wound in his leg inflicted by the Plaintiff. Among the officials at the scene were Troopers
Lynn Benedict and Jimmy O. Thomas of the Arkansas State Police.
The first officer on the scene was Officer Shona Jordan. When she entered the house,
she found a man, later identified as Christopher Palmer, lying in a pool of blood and another
man, later identified as the Plaintiff, beside him holding pressure on the wound. Plaintiff
admitted to stabbing Palmer.
Trooper Benedict took the lead in the investigation having Plaintiff sign a Miranda rights
form and a permission to search form. Troopers Benedict and Thomas interviewed the Plaintiff.
During the interview, Plaintiff maintains Trooper Benedict exhibited bias when he took the word
of eyewitnesses over that of the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff maintains the witness statements prove he acted in self-defense or committed
manslaughter at best. However, due to the bias of Trooper Benedict, Plaintiff states he was
charged with second degree murder.
Plaintiff maintains Trooper Benedict had a conflict of interest and should not have been
involved in the investigation of the case. Specifically, Plaintiff asserts that Trooper Benedict was
married to Cathy Palmer who was the second or third cousin of the victim. Plaintiff maintains
Trooper Benedict knowingly concealed this fact.
Plaintiff asserts that Trooper Thomas was aware of the conflict and failed to intervene.
In fact, Trooper Thomas was present during the interview of the Plaintiff but played only a
minimal role in the questioning.
With respect to the prosecuting attorneys, Plaintiff maintains they engaged in misconduct
when they knowingly used false or misleading evidence, biased accounts of the events, and
otherwise used evidence they knew to be tainted or biased in the prosecution of the Plaintiff.
With respect to Clay Janske, his attorney, Plaintiff maintains he failed to properly investigate the
facts and people involved and failed to find the conflict of interest.
Plaintiff maintains Trooper Benedict's conduct violated Plaintiff's ...