ESPANOLA, N.M. – The family of a third-grader who was handcuffed and jailed after misbehaving at school will receive $221,000 from the city and its insurer to settle a lawsuit.
Jerry Trujillo, then 8, was sent the school counselor's office after he hit another child with a basketball in August 2004, his mother said. The juvenile citation for disorderly conduct said Jerry then "got out of control and refused to go back to class."
After police were summoned, Jerry was booked into the city jail, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and placed in a holding cell while adult inmates in a nearby cell taunted him, according to the lawsuit. He was released to his parents a half hour later.
The family's attorney, Sheri Raphaelson, said her clients were relieved Jerry would not have to testify. A jury already had been chosen to hear the federal civil rights lawsuit, but both sides filed a motion to dismiss the case on Monday.
The family will receive $85,000 initially, and the remainder of the settlement is to be paid over several years for Jerry's education and college fund. He now attends a private school.
The lawsuit named the police chief, school officials and others. The school district settled last October for $6,000 without admitting liability.