County settles lawsuit with former inmate

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

LEE COUNTY – A former inmate has settled with Lee County over a lawsuit that’s been on the books for almost five years.

The county has agreed to pay $50,000 at the recommendation of its insurance company to James Stark, who was in the back of a vehicle on June 30 when the vehicle was shot at by a bank robber on the west side of Fort Madison.

At Monday’s Lee County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, supervisors went into closed session for about 10 minutes and then returned from the session and voted to approve the settlement.

The settlement agrees to pay the former prisoner a cash payment for stress caused after the vehicle he was being transported back to Lee County Jail in was fired upon by 37-year-old Lafayette Evans, of Nashville, Tenn.

The inmate was in Lee County Deputy Steve Sproul’s vehicle at the time of the robbery and shooting.

According to reports, Sproul was traveling past the Fort Madison Bank & Trust westside office on Hwy. 61, when he heard a call from LeeComm reporting a possible burglary in progress at the bank.

Sproul responded to the report and, when he pulled into the parking lot, witnessed Lafayette coming out of the bank brandishing a weapon. Sproul told Lafayette to drop his weapon and the man fired several shots at the vehicle, two of which struck the car while the inmate was in the back seat.

Lafayette was eventually shot and killed by Fort Madison Police in the field adjacent to the bank while trying to flee with an undisclosed amount of cash.

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