Friday, December 21, 2018

Federal judge approves settlement, dismisses Sheena Eastburn'a lawsuit against McDonald County, jailer who raped her

U. S. District Court Judge David P. Rush approved the dismisal of a lawsuit filed by convicted murderer Sheena Eastburn against the county of McDonald County and the jailer who raped her when she was a teen.

The order stipulated that the parties had reached a settlement. Both sides were ordered to pay their share of the costs.

The settlement was first announced December 10 in a filing in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The amount of the settlement and other details have not been released.

In the lawsuit, Eastburn, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 for the murder of her husband and was paroled in November 2017 after spending 25 years behind bars, claims jailer Terrie Zornes raped her and then the crime was covered up by Zornes' fellow workers at the Sheriff's Office.

In 2011, Zornes was charged with raping a teenage prisoner in 1994, but the charge was dropped when he pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl.

The petition says Zornes forced Eastburn, who was 17 at the time, to go into the property room, raped her, then destroyed evidence by tampering with the surveillance tapes.

Zornes raped Eastburn between December 1993 and February 1994, according to the lawsuit.

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