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Llano County, sheriff’s office sued in Kingsland man’s killing

Justin and Jillian Harrod

Justin Harrod of Kingsland was shot and killed by Llano County sheriff’s deputies on Oct. 23, 2022. His wife, Jillian Harrod, filed a federal civil lawsuit against the county, the sheriff, and two deputies on April 11. Courtesy photo

The wife of a 40-year-old Kingsland man killed by Llano County deputies in 2022 filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on April 11 against the county, the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Bill Blackburn, and deputies Bryon Cervantez and Randy “Ty” Shaw. It is the fifth lawsuit that Llano County now faces in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, and the second dealing with excessive force by the sheriff’s office.

Harrod v. Llano County et al. was filed by Kaplan Law Firm on behalf of Jillian Harrod, wife of the late Justin Harrod. The suit charges the Sheriff’s Office with excessive use of force in violation of Justin Harrod’s civil rights as outlined in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Officers were called to the Harrod home on Eula Lane in Kingsland on Oct. 23, 2022, by Jillian Harrod, who reported her husband was drunk and possibly suicidal. According to footage from a body camera worn by one of the deputies, Justin Harrod was found passed out face down on his front lawn with his hands on each side of his head. He was lying on top of a gun. 

“The police told Mr. Harrod to both ‘Get away from the gun,’ but also instructed him to not move, instructions that directly conflict with each other and would therefore be impossible to follow,” reads the complaint. 

The situation lasted for 18 minutes with five deputies shouting at the prone, intoxicated man. When Justin Harrod yelled back, he was hit with a taser, according to the plaintiff’s original complaint.

“The moment the taser was deployed, Defendant Cervantez and Defendant Shaw knowingly and intentionally shot Mr. Harrod multiple times with their service weapons with the intent to kill,” the complaint continues. “Defendant Cervantez and Defendant Shaw shot and killed Mr. Harrod even though he never pointed a weapon in their direction.” 

Justin Harrod was then handcuffed and loaded into an ambulance. A helicopter was deployed to take him to an Austin hospital, but he died before it arrived, LCSO Chief Deputy Brian Evans told DailyTrib.com in 2022

Kaplan Law Firm claims the Llano County Sheriff’s Office is liable for failing to train its deputies, citing Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York as established law in the area. 

The plaintiff is seeking actual, compensatory, and exemplary damages, court costs, attorney fees and expenses, and any further relief the court “deems proper and just under the circumstances.” 

suzanne@thepicayune.com