Inmate’s family suing ACSO jail

Published 12:06am Friday, September 28, 2012

NATCHEZ — The mother of an inmate who died of apparent self-inflicted means in the Adams County jail has filed a wrongful death suit against the Adams County Sheriff’s Office in federal court.

The civil suit, filed in the U.S. Southern District Court of Mississippi’s Western Division by Camilla Collier last Friday, seeks $6 million in compensatory and punitive damages for the June 22, 2011, death of Collier’s son, Brandon Diaz.

According to the complaint affidavit, Diaz hanged himself while in custody at the ACSO jail. The suit states that Sheriff Chuck Mayfield and sheriff’s office employees “knew or should have known” that Diaz suffered from mental disability, had attempted suicide several times before and was on anti-depressant medication. The affidavit alleges he was not provided that medicine.

Diaz was arrested on charges of breaking into a commercial building in 2010 and had been bound over to a grand jury the day before he died. He had been incarcerated continually during that time because he did not have the money to bond out. The complaint states the arrest and the binding over to the grand jury was “without probable cause.”

The suit also claims that while Diaz was in custody he was physically and sexually assaulted in the jail, and that jail administrators had not done anything to prevent the abuse.

Even though they knew all of this information about Diaz, the jail administration had failed to remove anything from his cell that could have been used to commit suicide, the filing states.

Mayfield said Thursday he was aware of the suit but had not personally been served in it. He declined to discuss the details because of the pending litigation.

Such suits are not uncommon in situations like the one involving Diaz, he said.

“The suit was not a surprise to us, but we are confident that we will prevail in it,” he said.

Another Adams County prisoner hanged himself with his pants in a holding cell in late July.

A Mississippi Bureau of Investigation review of that matter affirmed the ACSO’s findings that the death was self-inflicted, Mayfield said.

  • Anonymous

    When the family loses this suit, they should be forced to pay the sheriffs legal fees.

  • Al Mo

    may God forgive all the haters and IF the faciity is in the wrong, PAY UP and DO BETTER. Forgive the haters Father and the ignorant. GOD Loves us all! In Jesus name i pray for all people envolved including inmate, family, guards etc.

  • vilou09

    Haters? PFFTT!!

  • Anonymous

    This story is confusing. Was he in jail for 2 years? Was denied meds for 2 years? Was he sexually assulted for 2 years? Did he steal anything when “broke into a commercial building” What building was it? Were the previous suicide attempts made in the jail?

  • Anonymous

    If the family knew this man was this bad off they should have either had him admitted to a hospital for evaluation , had the meds changed if they no longer worked or had better watch over them their self…. had The FAMILY been watching over him as they wanted the ACSO to do then he would have never broken into that business and ended up in this mess to start with. NO jail can provide an officer to stand over each inmate to insure personal safety… that’s absurd…. if they were so concerned about this mans welfare then the family should have better kept up with his activities. They are not allowed to deny necessary medications to inmates and if they did then this is by the fault of ACSO however it sounds as if the meds were not working and if he was on them when he broke into the business then there is a chance the meds were no longer working or there was another problem there. As for sexual assault…anytime you break the law and go to jail there is a big chance of that happening. again they can not assign an officer to each inmate … they do what they can to prevent this and it does have consequences but, simply the best way to avoid this kind of thing is not break the law to go to jail. His hanging himself was tragic however they have to clothe the inmates and there was not much they could do about this. i am sure had they known it was happening they would have prevented it but they can not stay back in the cells 24/7 so I am not sure what the family expects from the ACSO on all this? I do not see exactly how they can be held responsible for this inmates actions.There is a lot of information missing here but I still feel that if the family was as concerned as they claim they would have better kept watch over this man as to insure he was safe and out of trouble. However they dropped that ball their own self and yet want the ACSO to be accountable for something they themselves did not do. Guaranteed there will be an internal investigation into all of this.. that’s protocol every time there is a death by however means in any facility. the truth will come out and those responsible will be dealt with should there be any proof of wrong doing.

  • i2bdun

    The guy broke the law. I agree with the other poster that his family should have seen to it that he was receiving his meds. The family did not have the money to pay his bond….AND NOW THEY ARE SUING FOR 6 MILLION? Sounds like they are looking to get rich over that man’s self inflicted death. If they cared so much, why didn’t they help him while he was alive? Only THEY will profit from his death (and their lawyers)….not HIM. May he rest in peace.

  • Anonymous

    most of these comments are correct. But, remember, these are only what the family is saying. There are always at least two sides to every story. The truth is still out there. please wait for the rest of the story.And I agree with iaintevenmad. If the S.O. is found not guilty then the family and that ambulance chasing lawyer should be held accountable!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The use of that word is all you need to know about the intelligence level of that person. If the person had killed himself at home, would the family have sued themselves? Probably not.

  • Anonymous

    It’s always somebody elses fault.

  • Anonymous

    HATERS????? This pattern is all too familiar………. It takes a lot of gall to label everyone posting on here as “haters/ ignorant” because their opinion differs from yours. I can’t grasp the mind set of a criminal, and I’m sure there are a thousand reasons why this man turned to a life of crime. I could go on for days…. I just smell a dead fish, and some easy money trying to be made…… Call me a racist, call me a hater, call me ignorant…….. I’m none of the above….. God will be the final judge regarding this entire situation. Yes, God does love all of us, I will agree with you on that.

  • “THEMAN”