Left to right: Attorney Michael Crosby, John Mark Stahl.
JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -
The man former Jackson County sheriff Mike Byrd admitted to kicking
in the groin the night of his arrest will be heading to prison. John
Mark Stahl, 51, agreed Wednesday to a plea deal with the state. He was
sentenced to three years in prison for motor vehicle theft and eluding
law enforcement in 2012. Now, Stahl's attorney could be pursuing a civil
suit against the county.
John Mark Stahl stood before the judge
and confessed that back in June 2012 he drank a fifth of whiskey before
getting on the road and wrecking his car in Jackson County. Stahl said
when a deputy arrived on scene, he stole his patrol car and took off
until finally surrendering in Mobile.
Defense attorney Michael
Crosby said after Stahl was handcuffed and arrested, a brutal assault
happened at the hands of law enforcers, including former sheriff Mike
"The sheriff came up behind him and kicked him in the
groin area," Crosby said. He backed up and explained to him that he was
going to punish him and make his life miserable and ran and kicked him
again, twice causing permanent damage in that area and all areas
Last month, Byrd resigned. Before that, he pleaded
guilty in federal court to one count of witness tampering to cover up
this assault. Stahl faced a three count indictment for the patrol car
theft and a pending drug case.
Wednesday, he agreed to a three year prison plea deal.
felt that was fair under the circumstances. Plus, the judge is allowing
him to get treatment for any kind of substance or addiction problems he
has," Crosby said.
Now that the criminal side is over, Crosby
wants to focus on the civil side of this case. He said it's important
his client receive the monetary compensation he deserves from the county
for several injuries the night of his arrest.
"His quality life
was taken from him and the only thing that can substitute with that to
him is money. We have to put the county on official notice about the
damages. If necessary, we will file the suit and pursue that in court,"
Crosby has not said how much Stahl will be seeking in that lawsuit.