No settlement reached in Nacogdoches woman's lawsuit for pepper spray at protest

TYLER, TX (KTRE) - No settlement was reached when the two sides in a Nacogdoches woman's lawsuit against the Cherokee County Sheriff's deputy who pepper-sprayed her met in a meditation conference in Tyler Tuesday.

In the lawsuit complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in December 2012, Barbara Jeannette Singleton's lawyer, a 76-year-old great-grandmother, claimed Singleton was pepper-sprayed in the eyes by CCSO deputy Michael Darby while she was peaceably protesting the construction of the TransCanada pipeline in November.

A pre-trail conference for the lawsuit is scheduled for Jan. 18, 2014.

Singleton "did not violate any law … did not pose any threat … did not refuse to comply with any command … was not given any warning' when Darby sprayed her, Singleton's attorney Curtis Stuckey wrote in the complaint.

"The pepper spray was extremely painful," Stuckey wrote. 'Plaintiff Singleton has given birth to four children, two without anesthetic, and the pepper spray was more painful than childbirth."

Singleton was one of more than 100 people showing their support for three protesters who had climbed 50-foot pine trees to create "tree blockades" with their lifelines attached to heavy equipment on the ground below them.

The proposed pipeline will extend pipeline capacity 485 miles from Cushing, Okla., to Nederland.

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