Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lawsuit filed against county over inmate’s death

July 31. 2013 12:11AM
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WILKES-BARRE — The mother of a county prison inmate who committed suicide while incarcerated on a parole violation has filed a wrongful death suit against Luzerne County.

Catherine Marie Jones Miller, of West Pittston, filed the suit Tuesday through her attorney, Amil Minora of Scranton, against the county, county council, Manager Robert Lawton, the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, the county prison board and county corrections officers.

The suit alleges wrongful death and seeks damages for pain and suffering, exceeding $100,000.

According to the suit, Gary Allen Jones, 19, was an inmate at the county prison on a parole violation in December 2012. Jones previously had pleaded guilty and was originally sentenced in July 2011 to six to 23 months in prison on charges he took items from a West Pittston home.

Court papers indicate he violated the terms of his parole and was lodged at the prison on Dec. 19. The suit says Jones was declared dead on Dec. 21 after he was found hanging in his cell.

The suit alleges the defendants failed to supervise Jones, properly train corrections officers, ensure Jones’ safety, evaluate Jones’ mental and emotional condition and provide treatment.

Jones’ death, the suit states, was a “direct and proximate result” of the defendants’ negligence.

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