A $40 million lawsuit has been filed against Hamilton County government and multiple deputies involved in the shooting death of Christopher Dalton Sexton, 29, who was killed after leading police on a car chase last year.
Sexton was first spotted in violation of an order of protection by a deputy with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 17, 2017, around 5 p.m. The deputy attempted to stop Sexton, but he continued driving, beginning a pursuit that was eventually ended due to safety concerns.
Authorities found Sexton again later that evening and another pursuit began. That pursuit crisscrossed county lines as Sexton drove between Hamilton and Sequatchie counties, according to a TBI report.
Sexton's vehicle was forced off the roadway by a deputy as the pursuit turned onto Sequoyah Road and Sexton exited his vehicle, brandishing a weapon and pointing it at officers. Several deputies fired at him, striking and killing him at the scene.
The lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County Circuit Court by Ashley Sexton, alleges Christopher Sexton never posed a threat to the public or deputies and those deputies were wrong to kill him. In fact, the lawsuit claims that rather than pointing a firearm at authorities, he "exited his vehicle and began moving away from law enforcement, with his back to law enforcement."
"At no time did the Deceased make or pose any threat to the Individual Defendants or Does to harm, injure or impair the Individual Defendants or Does from conducting their duties as Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputies or law enforcement officers," the lawsuit states.
"The Deceased did not harm, threaten to harm, injure, impede or interfere or endanger the Individual Defendants or Does or anyone in the public during the car chase pursued by the Individual Defendants and/or Does."
It is unclear what Ashley Sexton's relationship is to Christopher Sexton, but she is listed as executor and representative of his estate.
The lawsuit goes on to state deputies shot at Christopher Sexton more than 40 times, hitting him six times in the back and multiple times in the back of his buttocks and legs as well as both sides of his torso. It also states that after shooting him to death, deputies handcuffed him, "so tightly and aggressively that the hand cuffs dug and cut into Deceased skin on his wrists."
"[The deputies], without any justification, opened fire on the Deceased in what can only be described as a hail of bullets," the lawsuit states.
The deputies named in the lawsuit are Spencer Daniels, Blake Kilpatrick, Dustin Bowes, Richard Patterson, Brevin Cameron and Christopher Walker.
Christopher Sexton's wife, Lindsay Sexton, previously told the Times Free Press that her husband called her during the car chase to give her updates on the situation. She said he was prone to swing in and out of violent, depressive cycles due to bipolar disorder and as they gave chase, officers knew he was carrying a loaded pistol and wanted to hurt himself.
Lindsey Sexton could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
This story was updated Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, at 11:54 p.m.