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Inmate Who had Free Weekends Attacked Wife, Lawsuit Claims

— June 24, 2019

A lawsuit was recently filed against Webster County, a former sheriff, and dispatcher over allegations they were negligent in the abuse of Felicia Robinson.

According to a new lawsuit, a former Webster County, Mississippi sheriff regularly freed Daren Patterson from jail on weekends for good behavior. However, Patterson was allegedly an abusive husband who would visit his wife, Felicia Robinson, during the weekends to torment her. According to Robinson, when Patterson was free on the weekends, he “tried to run her over, beat her unconscious and then drenched her body with sulfuric acid.”

Supreme Court of Mississippi
Supreme Court of Mississippi; image courtesy of Michael Barera via Wikimedia Commons,

During the acid attack that occurred last year, Patterson “poured ‘Liquid Fire’ drain cleaner on her, burning her face, neck, chest, arms, and leg.” As a result, Robinson suffered second- and third-degree burns and racked up medical bills close to $900,000. Since her horrific attacks, the former sheriff, Tim Mitchell, was arrested “on unrelated corruption charges involving guns, drugs, and sex with inmates” and resigned earlier this month when he pled guilty.

In her lawsuit, Robinson is accusing Mitchell, a former dispatcher, and Webster County of negligence. According to her, Patterson should never have been freed in the first place to terrorize her on the weekends. Her suit touches on how “violence and emotional abuse were chronic in Robinson’s marriage to Patterson.” It states:

“Throughout their turbulent relationship, she has vacillated from wanting his approval to wanting to be free from his oppressive behavior to being afraid for her very life — often experiencing these emotions at the same time…Occasionally, Mrs. Robinson would stand up for herself…Often, though, she would assume the position of his punching bag.”

How did Patterson end up being free on the weekends, though? Well, according to the suit, Patterson was designated as a ‘trusty’ person at the jail, “which gave him special privileges.” As a result of these special privileges, Mitchell “allowed Patterson to be released on weekends even after Robinson told police that her husband tried to run her over with the car the first time he was freed for the weekend,” the lawsuit alleges. An investigation into the incident was conducted and Mitchell was informed. However, that didn’t stop him from granting Patterson another free weekend two months later.

During that particular unsupervised weekend pass, Patterson returned to his wife, who felt incredibly helpless. While at his wife’s home, Patterson “threw a beer at her and punched her in the face before threatening to burn down her house.” From there, Robinson contacted a dispatcher for help, but the dispatcher simply handed the phone “to another inmate to speak to Patterson” instead of sending a deputy to diffuse the situation. After the phone call, things went from bad to worse. According to the suit, Patterson “seethed with unbridled fury, threw Robinson on the bathroom floor and punched her repeatedly until she blacked out.” From there, Patterson “poured the acid-containing drain cleaner over her nearly naked body.


Lawsuit: Inmate had free weekends, made acid attack on wife

Wife files lawsuit against a Mississippi sheriff’s department after her abusive husband was freed from jail on the weekends where he viciously beat her and drenched her body in acid

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