UPDATE: Bradley County inmate claims he was left for 2 days without light or water

BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) An inmate's Federal Lawsuit against Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson claims the jail is unsanitary.

In the suit filed October 16th and obtained by Channel 3, the inmate claims jailers put him a dark cell with no water or toilet paper for two days.

State inmate Jimmy Newell claims in the 6 page lawsuit, two correctional officers assaulted him inside of the Bradley County Justice Center violating his civil rights. Newell claims an officer punched him in the face in his cell October 13th of last year. In April of this year, Newell claims another corrections officer hurt him while he was naked saying the officer was quote, "Torturing the plaintiff in restraints." Neither the Sheriff nor County Attorney would comment on the suit.

In addition to the claims of assault, the Federal Lawsuit also claims the jail is not sanitary. Head of corrections Capt. Gabriel Thomas escorted Channel 3 through the jail, Monday. We saw severe plumbing and mold problems said to be in all of the facility's showers, Thomas admits that is a problem.

"With showers constantly running and everything I am concerned about that because as water runs inside of a wall I'm sure it damages the wall quite extensively," said Capt. Thomas. Deputies said faulty pipes are making some shower fixtures run nonstop. Officials said the problem was discovered at the beginning of September, right after Watson's Administration took office.

"You can tell that the water had been sitting in this wall about this height," said Capt. Thomas. " The shower fixtures or nozzle's are defective."

On top of the mold growing, deputies say there is water damage. to floors and some administrative offices. In the Federal Lawsuit filed last week, inmate Jimmy Newell listed molded showers among the several complaints regarding unsanitary conditions.

When asked, "For inmates who say this is uninhabitable, or this is unsanitary and detrimental to their health what do you say?" Capt. Thomas responded with, " I would say that's far from the truth... you've got to remember this, inmates are not happy about being inmates and that's just the truth of the matter....We try to keep this facility as clean as it can possibly get."

Sheriff Watson has called in a plumber and is working with the Mayor to fix the issue.

Officials say their facility did pass last month's mandatory Correctional Institute Inspection.

Regarding the Federal Lawsuit, officials would only say Newell is a State prisoner, being held on several charges.

The County Attorney tells Channel 3 the Sheriff's Department and Mayor's office has not yet been served.


A Bradley County inmate has filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Eric Watson for poor conditions at the Bradley County Justice Center.


The plaintiff, Jimmy Newell, lists several complaints in the suit regarding unsanitary and unconstitutional practices going on inside the jail. Newell claims inmates are served inadequate meals, there is mold in the showers and beds, and blames overcrowding for inmates being forced to sleep on the floor.


Newell lists two deputies in the lawsuit, in which he claims tortured him while he was restrained.


The inmate says he was placed in a cell earlier this month with no light or water for two full days, according to the compliant filed in federal court.


We'll have more on this story tonight on Channel 3 Eyewitness News at 6.