Publicly Funded Lawyer Will Continue to Represent Melvin Jones
Jones’s Public Defender Jared Olanoff says, “I can confirm that Judge Kinder ruled today that I will remain as Melvin Jones’ lawyer despite Mr. Jones’ recent settlement.”
On September 5 Springfield settled with Jones who was beaten during a traffic stop nearly three years ago. The settlement was for $575,000.
Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni explained to ABC40 News why he was likely able to retain Olanoff, “In order for a person to get a public defender they have to fill out a financial avadavat then the probation department has guidelines they follow. My understanding for him is that they had him fill out a new form; I guess his settlement was a structured settlement meaning future payments. Any money to him is deferred. In a couple years he’ll get some of the money and then a couple years after that he’ll get more and so on. The probation judge found that he had no money in his pocket because he has no job and is still in jail.”
On November 27, 2009, Melvin Jones III was pulled over on Rifle Street. While trying to cuff Jones during the traffic stop, Officer Jeffrey Asher began to beat Jones with a flashlight.
Asher later retired from the police department and was convicted on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon related to the case. He is currently serving 18 months in jail.
After the assault, which was caught on amateur video, Jones filed a lawsuit against the city and the Springfield Police Department claiming excessive force and civil rights violations.
Attorney John Liebel, who represented the city in the case, told ABC40 that the settlement followed a two-day mediation in early August in federal court.
Jones will receive the settlement in two parts: $275,000 over a 30 year period as part of a structured settlement, and $300,000 in attorney and legal fees.
Jones, meanwhile, remains in jail on domestic assault charges, after an arrest back in July.