In June 2011, deputies in rural St. Francois County, Missouri, raided Timmie Alan Pierce's chicken coop. What they found was enough to score a 26-year conviction for various drug offenses.
But they did not have a warrant. And so while they caught Pierce in the coop with materials commonly used to cook methamphetamine, the court of appeals for Missouri's Eastern District threw out the evidence garnered in the raid and vacated his sentence
. Prosecutors decided not to try him again.
Yesterday, Pierce filed a lawsuit against St. Francois County Sheriff Daniel Bullock, two deputy sheriffs and the county itself. He's asking for more than $2.5 million.
The calculations on that number involve many factors. Pierce, a laborer, says he spent 23 months in prison before finally being released from prison in January 2017. He spent $12,000 on a criminal defense lawyer, lost an estimated $80,000 in wages and also suffered from his "loss of freedom of movement."
But in addition to that, he says, he was beaten by the deputy sheriffs and had 22 guns wrongfully confiscated.
Pierce's suit says the guns had a fair market value of about $20,000. He alleges that he's been seeking their return ever since his release from prison, to no avail.
In February, the suit contends, "the prosecuting attorney, Jerrod Mahurin, wrote the Sheriff's office stating that the prosecutor saw no problem in returning the guns to Timmie. .... Notwithstanding the letters, Sheriff Daniel Bullock and all his deputies have refused to return the guns, despite repeated additional demands for their return."
David M. Duree filed the suit on Pierce's behalf. He declined to comment yesterday.
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