Butterfield v. Gray

Karonnie Truzy

AAJ Minority Caucus Delegate*

Karonnie received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Government from the University of South Carolina Upstate as a basketball player and then earned his Juris Doctor from Wake Forest University School of Law. While at Wake Forest he was a member and Captain of the American Association for Justice Trial Team, was active in the Black Law Students Association, was a member of the Order of Barristers, and was named a 2001 Outstanding Advocate. Karonnie and his wife Ebony have a daughter and twin sons. He enjoys spending his free time serving on the Elder Board of Oak Springs Missionary Baptist Church, grilling in competitions, and watching and playing basketball.

His admissions and memberships include the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Guilford County Bar Association, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group, the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He additionally serves on the Board of Governors and in the First Chair of Diversity for the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. His recognition by the National Trial Lawyers as a Top 40 Under 40 attorney and by the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum has resulted in numerous written and published articles in the North Carolina Advocates for Justice Trial Magazine and the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation magazine along with various speaking engagements throughout the country through the American Association for Justice Truck Litigation Group. Most recently, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly has selected Karonnie for its inaugural “Power List” of attorneys in North Carolina.

Case Link View Now
Opinion Filed October 05, 2021
Attorney for the Case Noah Abrams Rachel Fuerst
Amicus Brief Writers Matthew Ballew Karonnie Truzy
Court NC Court of Appeals
Docket No. 20-218

This case involved the egregious death of a jail inmate who was experiencing a known psychotic episode and, rather than provide him the medical care and protection required by law, the Sheriff and his deputies allowed him to slowly die of dehydration and starvation of a period of three weeks with no medical.

Even though the case is at the COA level, the amicus committee agreed to participate in light of the substantial importance of (1) the legal issues involved, in particular the absurdity defense’s argument that the presence of a $20,000 surety bond alone represents an “adequate remedy” that precludes a plaintiff’s constitutional claim under Corum/Craig; as well as (2) helping the court see this an opportunity to reexamine the utility of law enforcement immunity doctrines as a whole in light of the recent and tragic deaths/injuries occurring around the country, often to people of color, while in the custody of or interacting with law enforcement.