South Carolina Jail Guards Slept While Inmate Hanged Himself, $500K Lawsuit Won

The family of a mentally troubled inmate who hanged himself in the Lancaster County Jail while guards failed to check on him has been paid a $507,500 settlement by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s insurance company, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia, South Carolina this week.

The money was paid to the estate of Randy Stevens, 44, a painter and roofer who had a alcohol problem and was suicidal.

On May 20, 2014, corrections officers at the Lancaster County Jail discovered Stevens hanging by a bed sheet in a private jail cell.

Officers attempted to revive Stevens, but after paramedics arrived, he was pronounced dead on the scene. Stevens had been jailed a day earlier after he was charged with public disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Prior to the arrest, a friend of Stevens had called 911 and claimed that Stevens was suicidal, reports The News & Observer.

The lawsuit alleges, “Instead of placing Stevens in an observational cell where he could be under constant watch, correctional officers put him down a hallway far from the guard station.”

Although that isolated cell was under video surveillance during Stevens’ stay, one officer went to sleep at her desk and another left the jail entirely, the lawsuit said.

One guard falsified records, making them incorrectly reflect that guards had made the rounds to check on prisoners when they actually had not, the lawsuit said.

Had the officers monitored the live video of Stevens activity, they would have seen him kneel down, say a prayer and then slowly begin the process of killing himself, according to the lawsuit.

His body was in the cell for three-and-a-half hours before it was discovered, according to the lawsuit.

Two guards were fired as a result of Stevens’ death, and others were reprimanded. Yet the sheriff’s department admitted no fault in the $507,500 settlement.

Stevens’ estate, represented by Stevens’ stepfather Bill Laney, agreed not to bring further legal action.

The lawsuit was based on a federal civil rights statute that makes it unlawful for individual law officers to be “unreasonably and deliberately indifferent to a known serious medical condition.”

Although Stevens’ friend told deputies that arrested Stevens that he was suicidal, the deputies failed to tell jail staff about the suicide threats, the lawsuit said.

The settlement was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Shiva Hodges.

The family of a mentally troubled inmate who hanged himself in the Lancaster County Jail while guards failed to check on him has been paid a $507,500 settlement by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s insurance company, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Columbia, South Carolina this week.

The money was paid to the estate of Randy Stevens, 44, a painter and roofer who had a alcohol problem and was suicidal.

On May 20, 2014, corrections officers at the Lancaster County Jail discovered Stevens hanging by a bed sheet in a private jail cell.

Officers attempted to revive Stevens, but after paramedics arrived, he was pronounced dead on the scene. Stevens had been jailed a day earlier after he was charged with public disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Prior to the arrest, a friend of Stevens had called 911 and claimed that Stevens was suicidal, reports The News & Observer.

The lawsuit alleges, “Instead of placing Stevens in an observational cell where he could be under constant watch, correctional officers put him down a hallway far from the guard station.”

Although that isolated cell was under video surveillance during Stevens’ stay, one officer went to sleep at her desk and another left the jail entirely, the lawsuit said.

One guard falsified records, making them incorrectly reflect that guards had made the rounds to check on prisoners when they actually had not, the lawsuit said.

Had the officers monitored the live video of Stevens activity, they would have seen him kneel down, say a prayer and then slowly begin the process of killing himself, according to the lawsuit.

His body was in the cell for three-and-a-half hours before it was discovered, according to the lawsuit.

Two guards were fired as a result of Stevens’ death, and others were reprimanded. Yet the sheriff’s department admitted no fault in the $507,500 settlement.

Stevens’ estate, represented by Stevens’ stepfather Bill Laney, agreed not to bring further legal action.

The lawsuit was based on a federal civil rights statute that makes it unlawful for individual law officers to be “unreasonably and deliberately indifferent to a known serious medical condition.”

Although Stevens’ friend told deputies that arrested Stevens that he was suicidal, the deputies failed to tell jail staff about the suicide threats, the lawsuit said.

The settlement was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Shiva Hodges.

- Advertisement -

Support our Mission

Help us build a database of bad cops

For almost 15 years, PINAC News has remained active despite continuous efforts by the government and Big Tech to shut us down by either arresting us for lawful activity or by restricting access to our readers under the pretense that we write about “social issues.”

Since we are forbidden from discussing social issues on social media, we have created forums on our site to allow us to fulfill our mission with as little restriction as possible. We welcome our readers to join our forums and support our mission by either donating, volunteering or both.

Our plan is to build a national database of bad cops obtained from public records maintained by local prosecutors. The goal is to teach our readers how to obtain these lists to ensure we cover every city, county and state in the country.

After all, the government has made it clear it will not police the police so the role falls upon us.

It will be our most ambitious project yet but it can only be done with your help.

But if we succeed, we will be able to keep innocent people out of prison.

Please make a donation below or click on side tab to learn more about our mission.

Subscribe to PINAC

Bypass Big Tech censorship.

Leave a Reply

- Advertisement -

Latest articles