County pays death settlement

Jan. 23, 2013 @ 07:48 PM

Guilford County leaders will pay $475,000 to the family of an inmate who died in 2010 while in custody at the county jail.
Under terms of the sealed settlement, the county will pay the family of Christopher Mason Armstrong who died two days after Christmas in 2010, WXII reported Wednesday.
Armstrong, 21, died of a blood clot in his lungs, according to a coroner’s report, probably from being restrained while in jail.
Sheriff BJ Barnes confirmed that Armstrong was restrained after he assaulted jailers and other inmates. He also told WXII that his officers did nothing wrong.
The payment decision, made by the Board of Commissioners in a November closed session, was kept confidential at the family’s request, according to a county spokesman. WXII acquired terms of the settlement through an information request.
The county hired outside council who recommended a settlement over facing a possible trial.
“But it’s up to 12 men and women to make that decision. Do you want to go that far, and the lawyers basically did not feel that’s where they wanted to be,” Barnes told WXII.