• Lawsuit filed in case of Memphis man found dead in van in MPD impound lot

    By: Alexa Lorenzo

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the man who was found dead in the back of a van that had been sitting in an impound lot for 49 days. It reveals new details in the case – as well as outlines the claims against three named defendants.

    The City of Memphis, MPD Director Michael Rallings, and John Does 1-20 are the named defendants. The “John Does” refer to several MPD officers – as well as other “adult resident citizens of Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee.”

    The shooting that took Hernandez’s life happened on December 18 in Binghampton. Three Latino men were in a van when three suspects tried to rob them, then fired shots.

    RELATED: Botched investigation: Body overlooked for 49 days in van on police property

    The van’s driver was rushed to the hospital after being shot three times. He survived.
    Hernandez’s body was not found until 49 days later. It had been towed to a City of Memphis impound lot.

    The lawsuit lists several Memphis police officers who responded to the scene of the shooting and were involved in the investigation. They are listed as defendants.

    The lawsuit claims if the officers had conducted the investigation correctly, Hernandez’s body would have been found and he could have been saved by emergency crews on the scene.

    RELATED: Victim found on MPD's impound lot 49 days after being shot identified

    His cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.


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    The plaintiff in the case – who is listed as Hannah Bleavins, administrator and personal representative of the estate of Bardomiano Perez Hernandez – alleges the defendants are guilty of:

    • Negligently and/or recklessly failing to exercise that degree of care and caution required of a reasonable and prudent Memphis Police department officer and/or Detective, and/or Crime Scene Investigator, and/or Memphis Police Department Supervisor under the same or similar circumstances
    • Negligently and/or recklessly failing to investigate a crime scene
    • Negligently and/or recklessly failing to examine and document a crime scene
    • Negligently and/or recklessly failing to render aid
    • Negligently and/or recklessly failing to inventory a vehicle when seizing it and all of its contents as evidence at a crime scene
    • Negligently and/or recklessly failing to inventory a vehicle and all of its content that was seized as evidence and transferred into evidence and property at the Memphis Police Impound Lot
    • Gross negligence in the careless, reckless, unlawful, and willfully negligent actions or inactions of a criminal investigation with complete indifference to the consequences and needless disregard for the right and safety of Bardomiano Perez Hernandez

    The lawsuit reveals the graphic conditions in which Hernandez’s body was found – including his face being covered in black and white mold -- as well as the fact that “varmints, rats and insects had begun to eat away” at the victim’s body.

    The defendants are requesting damages in the amount of “no less than $300,000” and a trial by jury, among other damages listed in the lawsuit.

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