Haines wins $90K settlement

MARTINSBURG – Convicted bank robber Mark Daniel Haines has agreed to a settlement with the man convicted of kicking him in the head following a high-speed police chase in December 2010, an incident that cost former Sheriff Robert “Bobby” Shirley his job and resulted in his recent sentencing to federal prison.

[cleeng_content id="872457424" description="Read it now!" price="0.15" t="article"]If approved by Northern District Judge John Preston Bailey, the settlement would involve dismissal of the suit against Shirley and six law enforcement officers, $90,000 in damages for Haines, and no admission of wrongdoing by the officers, according to Harry Waddell, who represented Haines in his civil case against the officers.

“Mr. Haines participated in the negotiations over the settlement by phone, and he is pleased with the result,” Waddell said. “I think the settlement demonstrates that no one is above the law, including the police.”

The settlement would be paid by the West Virginia Counties Self-Insurance Risk Pool, which provides liability insurance for counties across the state.

Mark Daniel Haines

Mark Daniel Haines

State Trooper Joseph Bush, one of eight officers named in the suit by Haines, was not a part of the settlement, according to Waddell.

Shirley pleaded guilty in January to federal charges stemming from the incident and was subsequently sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. In his plea, Shirley admitted that he had kicked and beat Haines while he was being restrained by several other officers, resulting in severe injuries. Shirley remains incarcerated in Northern Regional Jail while he awaits transfer to a federal facility.

The case remains set for trial in November, though now with only Bush as a defendant, Waddell said.

A pending motion would add two former Shepherdstown police officers – James Cummings and Timothy Johnson – to the case, if approved by Bailey.

Waddell says he filed to have the two officers, who have since moved to positions with other departments, added to the case after receiving an anonymous letter. The letter, which Waddell submitted along with his request to add the defendants, indicates that neither Deputies Terry Palmer nor Joseph Foreman participated in the beating.

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