Dead inmate Ronnie White should've been in medical unit: Attorneys
Attorneys for the former Prince George's County jail guard who was the focus of an investigation into the death of an inmate have formally asked jail officials to investigate why the inmate wasn't placed in the jail's medical ward, instead of the maximum-security cellblock where he died.
Anthony McIntosh was the chief suspect in the death of Ronnie L. White. White, a suspected cop killer, was found dead in his cell in the Prince George's County jail in June 2008. McIntosh was the only guard with access to White"s cell during the time he died.
McIntosh also waited two days to tell authorities that he found White hanging in his cell, allowing investigators to initially believe another guard found White unresponsive on the floor. Attorneys for McIntosh -- who was allowed to resign before facing an internal disciplinary hearing last fall -- requested further investigation in a Nov. 19 letter to Mary Lou McDonough, director of the county jail.
The letter, by Clothilda Harvey and Timothy Fitts, notes that White told jail officials during his processing that he had a history of taking medication for depression.
In an interview, Fitts said there is no evidence McIntosh or any other guard harmed White and said it is likely White killed himself. If White had been placed in the medical ward, he would have been watched more closely and may not have had the chance to harm himself, Fitts said.
McIntosh said in an interview with The Washington Post that he found White hanging from the bunk with a bedsheet tied around his neck, and yanked him down to the ground. McIntosh said White appeared to be dead. McIntosh said he panicked and did not call for help. A state medical examiner ruled White's death a homicide.
A lengthy investigation by the Maryland State Police concluded that White might have killed himself. State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said last summer that he did not have sufficient evidence to charge McIntosh or anyone else with White's death.
White's mother has filed a civil lawsuit against McIntosh, another former guard, and a current guard, as well as the jail. The lawsuit allegest the guards killed White in an act of law enforcement vigiliantism.
White, 19, was arrested for murdering county police Cpl. Richard S. Findley. Authorities allege that White, driving a stolen truck, dragged Findley to his death.
A county spokesman did not immediately respond to the letter by Harvey and Fitts.
-- Ruben Castaneda
January 25, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories: Pr. George's , Prison Beat , Ruben Castaneda
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