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NM man who pulled own tooth in jail awarded $22M

A federal jury has awarded $22 million to a New Mexico man who spent two years in solitary confinement and says he was forced to pull his own tooth because jail officials wouldn't let him see a dentist.

Civil rights attorney Matt Coyte says a federal jury awarded Stephen Slevin the damages for his treatment while at the Dona Ana County Jail.

Slevin was arrested in August of 2005 for a DWI then put in jail, where his lawyer said he was forgotten for two years.

The 58-year-old man said he was denied repeated requests to see a doctor and forced to pull his own tooth.

The DWI charges against Slevin were later dropped.

The county declined to comment after the settlement.

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Information from: KOB-TV, http://www.kob.com

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