Feb 12, 2018, 5:44 PM ET

3 Milwaukee jail officials charged in inmate's death from dehydration

#

Three Milwaukee County Jail officials, including the former commander, were charged Monday with felonies related to the 2016 death of 38-year-old inmate Terrill Thomas.

Thomas’ death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner who said he had died from "profound dehydration.” Prosecutors say his water supply had been shut off for seven days.

Criminal complaints filed today allege that Lt. Kashka Meadors ordered corrections officer James Ramsey-Guy to shut off the water to Thomas' cell. The complaint also alleges Maj. Nancy Evans, who served as the top official in the jail, failed to preserve surveillance video showing the water turned off and then lied, saying she hadn't seen the video.

PHOTO: Three Milwaukee County Jail officials, including the former commander, were charged Monday with felonies related to the 2016 death of 38-year-old inmate Terrill Thomas.WDJT
Three Milwaukee County Jail officials, including the former commander, were charged Monday with felonies related to the 2016 death of 38-year-old inmate Terrill Thomas.

Evans faces two counts of obstructing an officer and one count of misconduct in office. Ramsey-Guy and Meadors both face felony charges of abuse and neglect of an inmate. If convicted, each face more than three years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm spoke about the charges at a Monday news conference, saying, “We made the determination that these three individuals were responsible for the actions surrounding Mr. Thomas’ death.”

Sheriff's officials said previously that Thomas' water was shut off after he stuffed a mattress in a toilet to flood his previous cell.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt, who was not sheriff at the time of the incident, said it’s a heartbreaking situation, “this family is going through a horrific ordeal. I don’t wish this on anyone.”

PHOTO: Three Milwaukee County Jail officials, including the former commander, were charged Monday with felonies related to the 2016 death of 38-year-old inmate Terrill Thomas.WDJT
Three Milwaukee County Jail officials, including the former commander, were charged Monday with felonies related to the 2016 death of 38-year-old inmate Terrill Thomas.

In May 2017, after hearing testimony for more than a week, an inquest jury concluded criminal charges should be filed against seven jail staffers, but today only three are facing charges.

Chisholm said they are still reviewing issues related to the medical care Thomas received and if there could be any additional charges.

Thomas was being held at the jail in connection to a shooting at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino.

All three charged in the case were expected to appear in court Monday afternoon.

News - 3 Milwaukee jail officials charged in inmate's death from dehydration

RRelated Posts

CComments

  • PhatDevil

    I had an uncle that did 8 years behind bars. I was actually with my aunt when she went to get him on that last day. I'm all of about 10 or 11ish. After we got home, my uncle sat me down and said "if you can help it, don't ever go to jail". To this day, it was never what he said, but how he said it. I've stayed straight (or at least tried to) my entire life because of how he said what he said.

  • CaptnBlynd

    Our prison system is as broken as the rest of our systems. I do have to wonder how food was being brought but there was not water asked for or supplied? He did not receive food? Never left the cell and had no contact with anyone? That alone tells me there is far too much more to this.

    I often ask people to name one major social system in our nation which is not broken. I cannot. No one I have ever asked has been able to. Can you?

  • USAF Retired

    What a horrible thing for them to do.

  • OkBluzMan79

    Some day law-abiding citizens are going to exercise their second amendment rights and weed out a few of these Barney Fife's. My question is, Why is it so stinking easy to become cop?

  • OkBluzMan79

    The lowlifes responsible for this should all be locked up in a box and left without water for about a week as well. After all, fair is fair.

  • ceptic

    Typical cruel jailers.
    They earned the death penalty.
    The world will be a little better without them.
    But no. How is it they aren't charged with 1st degree murder?

  • Snowfire

    This case is amazingly similar to a death in the Island County, Washington jail in which jailers refused water to a mentally challenged inmate who died of dehydration. reports were falsified and the prosecuting attorney eventually stated he wasn't going to prosecute anyone because there were too many involved to bring to court.. A truly sick sytem

  • Hank Kelly

    Where was Sheriff Clarke? He was too busy giving interviews to Fox News and being a wannabe cowboy.

  • AG99

    Only three years for murder?

  • helicohunter

    It is not "heartbreaking", it is horrific. Even if they were stupid enough not to realize that he had to be provided with drinking water if the water was shut off, he should have been brought beverages with his meals and someone should have actually LOOKED at him. He would not have looked well after a few days. Also, if he had no water, how was he relieving himself? In a bucket? If so, someone should have been changing that. He also should have been allowed to shower. If he was so insane that he wasn't able to communicate rationally, he should have been in a psych ward. This goes far beyond negligence.

  • Lilium Inter Spinas

    Charges mean nothing and are usually just pressed to appease an angry public. When everyone's attention wanders elsewhere, the charges will be quietly dropped or pled down to something insultingly trivial. It's very, VERY hard to get a jury to muster up outrage over the murder of "criminal scum," especially if the judge allows the defense to consist entirely of what a horrible person the deceased was, complete with sly little hints that society is better off without him. A slick lawyer combined with an incompetent judge could actually convince the right gaggle of idiots that these sadistic psychos actually did us all a favor.

    I wish people would keep in mind when they're rooting for the mistreatment of "scum" that everyone is "scum" to somebody. We will ALL reap what is sown, and the more we let bad things happen to "those people," the more we'll deserve it when it comes back around to us.

  • Bill William

    This happened in Virginia during 2015, a young male inmate Jamycheal Mitchell, who had mental health problems, was in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail and found dead with feces and urine in his cell. He died of starvation. No one accepted responsibility. A sixty million dollar law suit is pending.

  • tatertaut

    Maybe someone will turn THEIR water off when their sorry butts are thrown in jail.

  • Don'tBotherMe

    Depriving a man of water and allowing him to slowly die is just horribly cruel. I hope prison life for these officers is everything they've been fearing.

  • Dicazi

    I certainly hope "more than three years" means at least 10.
    This sounds like murder, not abuse and neglect of a possibly mentally ill man.