Judge Dismisses Federal Lawsuit Over Student's Suicide

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a civil rights lawsuit filed by the family of a college student who committed suicide after being arrested on drug charges.

Judge Sara Lioi of U.S. District Court in Akron agreed with Summit County in rejecting the lawsuit filed by the family of University of Akron student Charles Plinton.

Plinton, 25, killed himself in 2005 after he was suspended by the university.

Plinton was charged with drug trafficking based in part on the allegations of an ex-convict paid by police to set up drug deals with students. Plinton was acquitted in criminal court, but found responsible in a university disciplinary hearing and suspended for a semester.

Plinton's father sued the university and the county last year, saying his son's arrest and the prosecution violated his rights to due process and his rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Lioi had previously dismissed the portion of the lawsuit dealing with the university. In a decision Friday, Lioi sided with the county's argument that Plinton's father couldn't prove "that a policy, custom or practice of the county" were responsible for what happened.

Following Plinton's death, the Summit County sheriff said his agency's anti-drug unit will be supervised more closely.

Sheriff Drew Alexander said last year that investigators had sufficient reason to arrest Plinton, but the case against him should have been strengthened or dismissed before trial. He said the agency's drug unit did sloppy work.