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Public Defender Assaulted Inside Valley Street Jail Sues County

Photo of courtroom with defendant on video conference
David Lane/Union Leader (Pool Photo)

A public defender who suffered serious injuries after an alleged assault by an inmate inside of the Valley Street Jail in Manchester is suing Hillsborough County, claiming a corrections officer on duty failed to respond to the disturbance, and that the room in which the assault took place was locked from the outside, leaving him defenseless.

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Michael Davidow, who has worked as a public defender for twenty years, was assigned to represent Dale Holloway in October, 2019, according to his lawsuit.

Holloway was in custody following a shooting inside a church in Pelham, where he is alleged to have shot and injured both the bishop and the bride during a wedding ceremony, before being subdued by other guests.

In preparation for a bail hearing, Davidow visited his client at the Valley Street Jail last October, where the two were placed in a locked room with a single window. Within minutes of entering the room, Davidow alleges Holloway assaulted him, leaving him with serious head injuries including bleeding in his brain and a broken nasal cavity.

Holloway has pled not guilty to both the wedding shooting and the subsequent assault on his attorney.

In his civil suit, Davidow alleges the corrections officer on duty failed to monitor his interaction with Holloway, leaving him locked in an attorney-client interview room for approximately 20 minutes. The suit also claims that while the room where the assault occurred is outfitted with shackles, Holloway was left uncuffed during the meeting. 

According to the lawsuit, Holloway alerted the corrections officer on duty following the assault, which left Davidow bleeding on the floor of the room. 

The civil suit alleges the county is negligent for Davidow’s physical injuries.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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