Desoto County News

Lawsuit filed against Hernando, police in wrongful death suit

The City of Hernando, Police Chief Scott Worsham, and Officer Lynn Brown are among defendants named in a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against it by relatives of two young men who died in a 2019 high speed chase that ended with their deaths.  

The lawsuit was filed by Linda White and Kathryn Bonds, mothers of Jesse White, age 20 of Memphis, and Kristopher Bonds, also age 20 of Memphis, who were involved in a chase that led to the crash that resulted in their deaths.  

The incident in question took place in the early morning hours of July 27, 2019 in Hernando, when an officer attempted a traffic stop on a maroon Maxima. According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the Maxima initially stopped but then sped off, starting a pursuit with the officer trying to chase it down.  

When the chase reached speeds of 100 miles an hour, the officer, identified as Alec Chatham, was told by dispatch to cut it off. 

The lawsuit states that, while Chatham cut the chase off, Brown continued to pursue the vehicle, which continued onto I-55 driving northbound in the southbound lanes of the roadway before it flipped over and killed Kristopher Bonds and Jesse White.  

They were passengers in the car being chased but police were not aware they were in the vehicle at the time, according to the lawsuit.  

Linda White and Kathryn Bonds claim their sons were wrongfully killed in the crash. They also claim that the police department has developed a pattern of not enforcing policies and procedures against actions that result in violations of civil rights.  

The parents are demanding a jury trial and are seeking damages of $3 million in actual and compensatory damages, $12 million punitive damages, along with payment for funeral and burial expenses.  

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