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Missouri county jail accused of illegally housing inmates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ A lawsuit filed against a sheriff in southwest Missouri alleges the county jail is illegally housing criminal and civil defendants together.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Missouri public defender Matthew Mueller filed the lawsuit this month on behalf of Amy Evans, a current inmate at Greene County Jail for a probation violation.

Mueller says the jail isn’t keeping criminal and civil defendants in different cells as required by state law.

Damon Phillips, an attorney for Sheriff Jim Arnott, called the lawsuit a “frivolous legal argument” that public defenders aren’t authorized to make. Phillips says public defenders should focus on defending their clients.

Mueller has filed similar lawsuits in four other counties across the state.

Mueller says he already plans to appeal if the suit loses.
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Information from: Springfield News-Leader