Jury Sides Clears State Trooper in Beating

(Amite-AP) -- A state trooper who was accused of beating an attorney in handcuffs during a drunken driving arrest has been cleared of civil liability. A state district court jury deliberated about two hours before rejecting the claim lodged by Joseph A. Sims Junior against Trooper Barry Ward for an arrest June 3rd, 2000, near Ponchatoula.

Court records show that after his arrest, Sims was treated at a hospital. At issue was whether the injuries Sims sustained were the result from the appropriate use of force on a resisting suspect -- as the trooper claimed -- or from a beating after he was handcuffed and on the concrete -- as the attorney claimed.

Sims and his wife, Julia, were seeking at least one-point-35 (m) million dollars in damages. There were no outside witnesses to the alleged scuffle.