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Family of slain Stephens City man plans suit against Martinsburg

By Joe Beck

Martinsburg city officials have been served notice by the family of Wayne Jones, the Stephens City man slain by Martinsburg police on March 13, that they intend to sue for $250 million.

The notice of claim filed on April 2 also seeks money for funeral and other related expenses.

Sherman L. Lambert, the Martinsburg attorney who is representing the Jones estate, said in an interview Thursday that state law requires him to wait 60 days after filing the notice of claim before filing the lawsuit.

Lambert said he will file the suit, whether or not he has received an autopsy report from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner by that time.

"We're not waiting for the report," Lambert said.

City attorney Floyd McKinley Sayre, whose name is listed on the notice of claim, said it had been forwarded to the city's insurance carrier. Boyd Warner, an attorney with the carrier, had no comment on the claim.

The claim says surviving brothers Robert L. Jones and Bruce A. Jones, both of Winchester, seek damages for "Taser shocks and multiple bullet wounds to the . . . body."

The claim cites "willful, malicious, oppressive, and . . . reckless disregard for the constitutional rights of Wayne A. Jones" as justifying "punitive damages against the Martinsburg Police Department."

The police have said five officers used Tasers twice to no avail on Jones during a struggle in the 100 block of Queen Street around 11:45 p.m.

Police reported that Jones pulled a knife and stabbed one of them as they tried to bring him under control on the ground. The officer who was stabbed received a minor wound that did not require treatment, according to police.

The officers fired on Jones after he refused orders to drop the knife and started to get up while still grasping it, police said.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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