MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Six of the nine corrections deputies charged in the death of Gershun Freeman pled not guilty on Friday morning.
The moments leading up to his in-custody death were captured on video back in October of last year.
Stevon Jones and Courtney Parham are facing the most serious charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Jones, with his lawyer present, entered a not-guilty plea, the same for Parham, whose lawyer did the same.
Ebonee Davis, who also has an attorney, claims she too is not guilty.
The same goes for Charles Gatewood Jr. His defense attorney said they are still sifting through evidence.
“We want to know the facts, want to see the medical examiner’s report, we want to see the TBI investigation. We want to know what happened, and I believe at the end of this my client will be found not guilty,” said Carlissa Shaw.
Attorney Shaw says the video showing the beating will actually benefit Gatewood.
“The video actually speaks for itself and my client’s actions purport to what was supposed to be done in that situation,” said Shaw.
Chelsea Duckett’s attorney and the defense team for Jeffrey Gibson entered not-guilty pleas.
Damien Cooper, Lareko Elliott, and Anthony Howell have yet to retain an attorney, therefore no pleas were entered.
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Attorney Jake Brown who represents the Freeman family in a federal lawsuit, says what happened is not only criminal, but Freeman’s civil rights were violated.
“Our charge is that the leadership and the policy decisions of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department resulted in this happening. They were a moving force,” said Brown.
All nine of the accused are out of custody and each defendant has been ordered to return to court on December 1.