LCSO found liable in wrongful arrest, ordered to pay motorist more than $250K

GENERIC — Leon County Sheriff's Office logo and crime scene tape
GENERIC — Leon County Sheriff's Office logo and crime scene tape(MGN)
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 4:55 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2022 at 5:07 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee jury has found the Leon County Sheriff’s Office liable and ordered it to pay a motorist more than $250,000 in damages in a false arrest lawsuit.

Miles Evora sued LCSO last year, claiming deputies wrestled him to the ground and tased him twice after stopping him and searching his car back in December 2018.

Deputies contend Evora rolled through a stop sign on Janet Drive — which he denies — and then asked for permission to search his car. Deputies claim they found cocaine on the floorboard of Evora’s car and a field test kit confirmed it.

Charges against Evora were dropped a few months later after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed the substance was really sugar.

Evora’s civil suit contends deputies had no reason to detain him and no physical or photographic proof of that positive field test kit.

Testimony in the civil suit started Friday, April 8, and the trial ended Tuesday, April 12, when a jury found Deputy James Dills did not have probable cause to restrain Evora. The jury decided Evora was entitled to $269,810 in damages.

“We commend the jury for their attention and diligence throughout the trial and believe their verdict is consistent with Mr. Evora’s testimony and the other evidence presented,” Evora’s attorney Paul Aloise said soon after the verdict was announced.

LCSO sent the following statement to WCTV Tuesday evening:

“The Leon County Sheriff’s Office respects the jury’s verdict in this case. For now, no decision has been made regarding an appeal.”

An LCSO spokesperson tells WCTV Deputy James Dills has been with the sheriff’s office since 2016 and is currently employed as a Professional Standards Detective. He has been in that role since March 2022. Deputy Dills is not under investigation and has not been disciplined, the sheriff’s office says.

Below, you’ll find a PDF file of the verdict the jury returned.

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