Milwaukee jury suggests charges in inmate death

Posted at 5:55 PM, May 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-01 17:55:24-04

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A jury has recommended criminal charges against seven Milwaukee County jail staffers over the dehydration death of an inmate who went seven days without water.

The jury’s recommendation Monday comes after a six-day inquest that included testimony from jail staff and evidence from county prosecutors. The jury found probable cause to believe the staffers committed the crime of abuse of a resident of a penal facility in the death of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas on April 24, 2016.

They recommended charges against two jail supervisors and five correctional officers.

It’s up to prosecutors whether to file charges. Thomas’ death was one of four at the jail last year but the only one where charges are being considered.

The inquest highlighted errors surrounding Thomas’ death, including the failure to log that his water had been turned off.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke oversees the jail, but inquest did not target him.