Staffers Charged in Death of Mentally Ill Inmate

Staffers Charged in Death of Mentally Ill Inmate

"He was literally punished for the manifestations of his mental illness", said Erik Heipt, a lawyer for Mr. Thomas's estate who has filed a federal lawsuit against Milwaukee County and jail officials.

"Defendant Evans' course of conduct during the investigation into Mr. Thomas' death, of withholding information from her superiors, lying to her supervisors, failing to preserve evidence, repeatedly lying to law enforcement investigators and lying at the inquest, constituted misconduct in public office", the charging document said.

Court records show Jail Lt. Kashka Meadors, 40, ordered that the water be shut off in the cell of Terrill Thomas, 38, while correctional officer James Ramsey-Guy, 38, cut off all water to the cell, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Terrill Thomas, left, stands with his 20-year-old son, also named Terrill, at the son's high school graduation in 2014. Four inmates died at the Milwaukee County Jail in 2016, and a Wisconsin congresswoman called for a federal investigation of the facility.

The three employees were suspended as of Monday morning, Milwaukee County Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt told reporters Monday afternoon. They are due back in court March 2 for a preliminary hearing.

The charge came nearly a year after prosecutors provided evidence and the jury recommended that the staff should be liable.

The charges were announced by the Milwaukee District Attorney's Office.

"We're focusing on the individuals that we think are most responsible", Chisholm said. The medical examiner has since ruled his death a homicide, saying he died from "profound dehydration". Other inmates said that his water supply was turned off as a form of punishment, according to the newspaper. But she said this was supposed to continue only until the inmate settled down.

Asked Monday if jail staff still shut off water to inmates, Schmidt would not comment.


"I will be very strong on my decisions if indeed those documents support what I believe they're going to show", Schmidt said.

Since Thomas' death, seven inmates have died in the jail, three between August and December.

David Clarke, a right-wing sheriff known for his advocacy of rough treatment of prisoners, resigned past year after a highly controversial tenure as Milwaukee County Sheriff.

Thomas's suffering was only revealed during an independent inquest.

One of the cases happened a week after his death. The media never reports that in stories about him.

He fired two rounds and stuffed poker chips into his pockets. Nancy Evans, who served as the top official in the jail, allegedly failed to preserve surveillance video showing the water turned off.

In June 2016, Sheriff's Office Inspector Edward Bailey learned from a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter's inquiries that Thomas' cell water may have been shut off.

James Ramsey-Guy, waits February 12, 2018, at Milwaukee County intake court on charges in the dehydration death of inmate Terrill Thomas. "We know the videos. To the family, I have nothing but deepest sympathies for their loss". "I get it. This family has gone through a horrific ordeal. I don't wish this on anyone".

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