Tillman County Jail Inmate files lawsuit over heat

Tillman County_An inmate at the Tillman County Jail says he's being left out in the cold by officials. Now he's filing a lawsuit. In December, the heating system went out at the jail, so staff brought in space heaters to help warm the inmates. But inmate Trenton Hawkins says it's not enough -- so he's suing.

Tillman County Sheriff Bobby Whittington says he doesn't even know anything about the lawsuit because they haven't been served with any papers.  But he says the jail currently has between 11 and 15 heaters running to keep the inmates warm.  And it's only until they get the new heater in place. "For $1,000   more we could get a brand new unit that came with a warranty." So he says it wasn't worth the cost to repair the old heater. "We contacted the state fire marshal office who authorized us to put space heaters back in the cell."

But that still wasn't enough for Hawkins who says in the lawsuit there is "an extreme emergency for heat because it has become cold". The Sheriff doesn't buy it. "He's playing the system is what he's doing. He's one of those inmates that will make a request to staff about every little thing. He's a troublemaker."

Sheriff Whittington says he ordered the new unit from Houston, Texas and it should be here any day now.