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Jury rejects N.H. inmate’s claim of excessive force

A federal jury in Concord deliberated barely half an hour yesterday before rejecting an inmate’s claim that a corrections officer used excessive force to subdue him and severely injured one of his knees.

The jury found in favor of Hillsborough County House of Corrections officials and against Daniel Casanova, who is serving a 10- to 20-year sentence on an aggravated sexual assault conviction involving a child.

Casanova, 39, claimed corrections officer Woodward Weatherby, a professional mixed martial arts expert, shattered one of Casanova’s knees when the officer brought him to the jail floor in November 2008.

Casanova admitted he bounded up a flight of stairs, ignored orders to stop and was arguing with an inmate through a cell door in the jail’s high-security wing. But his lawyer in final arguments said Casanova didn’t do anything to warrant the treatment by Weatherby.

“He wasn’t actively resisting anything – he didn’t have a chance to,” attorney Kirk Simoneau said. “We’re talking about an amount of force powerful enough to destroy his knee.”

Simoneau said Casanova now has five screws in his knee.

bounded up a flight of stairs, ignored orders to stop - sounds like the state should sue him for the costs to rebuild the knee!

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