Former deputy files lawsuit in aftermath of Dylann Roof jail assault

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A former Charleston County deputy has filed a lawsuit over claims he was fired after convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was assaulted in jail.

Attorneys for Christopher Murray said multiple outlets reported Murray had been terminated following the incident, when he actually had resigned his employment with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

The lawsuit names the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Al Cannon and Asst. Sheriff Mitch Lucas and Evening Post Industries, owner of the Post and Courier, as defendants.

"Murray was made to be a scapegoat and now receives the public blame for the assault of Dylann Roof," attorney J. Lewis Cromer said. "In reality, he was likely the most honest and least involved of the employees investigated."

The suit alleges multiple claims including defamation, breach of contract, negligence and discrimination, according to a release from Cromer Babb Porter & Hicks, L.L.C.

"Murray had not been on duty but was interrogated with his answers monitored by a polygraph machine," the release states. "He complied fully with every direction and answered all questions honestly to the best of his knowledge. Nonetheless, he found his employment in jeopardy after disclosure of a prior, non-related policy violation when his investigators asked him to recount any policy violation he had not been previously caught for."

His attorneys say Murray checked the monitoring system to make sure all cell doors were locked at the end of his shift before he left the detention center. Other deputies oversaw later cell checks and found them to be sufficiently locked, they say.

"However, Murray was the only employee stated to be terminated. No other deputy received any reprimand or other form of punishment," the release states.

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