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I-Team: Man Pepper Sprayed to Death in Jail

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CLEVELAND -- A federal judge in Florida has refused to throw out a lawsuit against the Lee County sheriff's department over the pepper-spraying death of a former Cleveland boilermaker.

Nick Christie died after being repeatedly pepper-sprayed in jail.

The coroner ruled his death a homicide.

Christie, who had mental health issues, was taken to jail after an argument at his hotel.
He was not given his medications, and was pepper-sprayed time and time again.

In his ruling, the judge says Christie was "poisoned" by the spray.

The ruling goes on to say that a jury could reasonably conclude that deputies were only trying to harm Christie.

In a statement to the I-Team, Nick DiCello, the attorney for the Christie family says:

"Joyce Christie (Nick's widow) is very pleased with the Court's recent ruling. She is grateful that after almost four years, the shocking circumstances surrounding her husband Nick's death will soon be presented to a jury."