The trial was originally set for next month, but an order filed last week by Judge Robert Propst states the case should be ready for jury trial by July 10.
Sheriff Larry Amerson and Deputy Wendell Ward face civil rights accusations stemming from a lawsuit filed in April 2011 by an Anniston woman.
That woman, Stacy Brown, claims Amerson and Ward physically and verbally abused her 14-year-old son while he was participating in a Calhoun County Jail program for teens.
Last month, attorneys for Brown and her son -– identified in the suit as J.B. -– met with lawyers representing Amerson and Ward and jointly asked the judge to approve a schedule that would push the trial date back to February 2013.
But Propst denied that request.
“This case has been pending too long to be put off for over a year,” the judge wrote in an order issued on Feb. 21.
Attorneys met again after that decision and submitted a new schedule for the case timeline, this time showing the case would be jury-ready by July 10.
“We intend to conduct some discovery over the next couple of months to get ready for the trial,” said Anthony Bush, one of the attorneys for Brown and her son. “There is nothing unusual with the case; it’s going through the system as most cases do.”
Reached Tuesday, a lawyer for Amerson said he is confident that the sheriff and Ward will win the case.
“We will vigorously defend the sheriff,” attorney Randy McNeill said. “I’ve looked at almost every minute of video … recordings; that one little segment that seems to be out there so much, it’s a small slice.”
McNeill said he and the other defense attorneys were pleased when, in December, Propst dismissed three of six of the allegations against Amerson and Ward, including one that the defendants violated the federal Juvenile Justice Act.
On Dec. 7 the federal judge filed an 11-page memorandum opinion that, in essence, stated the actions of Amerson and Ward did not violate the Juvenile Justice Act, because Brown’s son was not a youthful offender or charged with a crime when he participated in the jail program.
That allegation had been a key component of the plaintiff’s suit.
Bush said he and Peyton Faulk, the other attorney representing Brown and her son, were “both very disappointed” with that ruling.
“We disagree with it, but we do respect the judge’s opinion,” Bush said.
Star Staff Writer Cameron Steele: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @Csteele_star.