Local News

Ex-Pitt sheriff's deputy found negligent in husband's death

Posted October 6, 2011 7:19 a.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2011 7:49 a.m. EDT

— A $500,000 settlement has been reached after a jury decided that negligence by a former Pitt County sheriff's deputy resulted in the death of her husband almost six years ago.

The Daily Reflector of Greenville reported (http://bit.ly/q0sW5l) that a jury deliberated less than an hour before reaching that verdict Wednesday in the civil trial of Michelle Pollard.

Her husband, Stacey Pollard, was found dead in his swimming pool on Nov. 18, 2005. He suffered from a seizure disorder, and his death was ruled accidental. Stacey Pollard's mother, Barbara Pollard, had filed a wrongful death suit against his wife.

Defense attorney Kathryn Fagan stressed that the decision indicated only that the jury thought Michelle Pollard did not do all she could to save her husband's life.

The $500,000 settlement for compensatory damages was later reached between the parties. Michelle Pollard's attorney said that she is in bankruptcy and isn't able to pay the settlement.

David Sutton, Barbara Pollard's attorney, told WNCT News that he might pursue other legal action and that the Pitt County Sheriff's Office "covered up" the circumstances of Stacey Pollard's death.

Michelle Pollard was fired by the sheriff's office in 2009 for violating ethical standards. As a lieutenant, she was head of the department's anti-gang unit.

Michelle Pollard denied accusations that she smoked marijuana and said she couldn't remember if she took off her shirt during a wet T-shirt contest, claiming that someone drugged her beer when she was in a local bar.