Guilford Family Files Federal Lawsuit

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On their cars, in their front yards and throughout Main Street, eight months later, the town of Mulliken is still asking for justice for Deven Guilford.

"Honestly did it have to take a life over an argument?" asked Susan Wireman, a family friend of the Guilfords. "He needs more punishment and the family needs justice ... A lot of people in Mulliken are 100% backing up the Guilfords."

With that support, Deven's Family filed a lawsuit against Eaton County Sergeant Jonathan Frost, who shot their son seven times, and the County they claim didn't properly train him.

In a statement, his parents said, "Since the moment we viewed the body camera footage our confusion has turned to outrage over what was done to Deven at the hands of Frost and the whole Eaton County "justice" system."

And his brother added, "I don't understand how an innocent situation can escalate so much to end in the death of a harmless kid .... It just seems that a trained officer would know how to handle an unarmed 17 year old boy without killing him."

Their attorney, Hugh M. Davis, explained, "We're alleging wrongful death, we're alleging excessive force, we're alleging violation of civil rights, we're alleging violation of the 4th amendment, which prohibits unreasonable seizures."

While Guilford's attorney admits Deven should've handed over his license, he said Deven should have never been pulled over for flashing his lights.

"What he did was give the officer a courtesy flash, because he thought the officer's bright lights were on. That isn't a violation of the state law," Davis said. "The officer had no right to stop him."

The Eaton County Sheriff's Office has been advised not to speak at this time, but told News Ten Sergeant Frost returned to work in June after recovering from the physical fight with Deven.

"He claims that Deven hit him with his fist. Well, if you look at that mark above his eye on his forehead, that wasn't done by somebody hitting with a fist. You know, there's no rings on Deven's hands, there's no blood, there's no evidence of injury when they did the autopsy," Davis said. "As far as we're concerned, he just made that up."

That's just one of several questions Deven's Family and hometown hope will be answered in court.

The Guilfords sued the County because their attorney said he's heard other incidents involving sheriff's deputies. He plans to take out ads in local newspapers asking people to call them with any complaints. The County will be dropped from the lawsuit if the attorneys can't prove there's a pattern.