Monday, June 17, 2013

Post Register: Family of Dead Inmate Threatens Suit Against Bonneville County

Posted By on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 9:52 AM

The family of a man who was found dead in a Bonneville County jail cell in February has filed a tort claim against the county, putting officials on notice that it will proceed with legal action if no settlement can be reached.

The Idaho Falls Post Register reports that James DeWitt was arrested February 15 on a charge of probation violation. The following morning, he was found dead. The Post Register reports that an autopsy determined that DeWitt had died of an accidental prescription drug overdose and an enlarged heart. The autopsy also revealed that DeWitt had died at least five hours before his body was discovered.

DeWitt's family is asking Bonneville County to pay for medical and funeral expenses.

"He laid there dead for so long," Debi Dudley, sister of the James DeWitt, told the Post Register. "He should have been taken to the hospital."

A coroner determined that DeWitt had taken Xanax and Oxycodone before he was arrested.

Bonneville County officials declined to comment on the tort claim.

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