Autopsy Confirms ‘Extreme Neglect’ Led To Inmate’s Death In Bedbug-Infested Cell

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An independent autopsy has confirmed that an inmate who died while incarcerated at the Fulton County jail faced “extreme neglect” in his final days which led to his demise, CBS reported.

“The death of Mr. Lashawn Thompson resulted from severe neglect evidenced by untreated schizophrenia, poor living conditions, poor grooming, extensive and severe body insect infestation, dehydration, and rapid weight loss,” former chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C., Dr. Roger A. Mitchell Jr. wrote in the independently conducted autopsy report, according to CBS News.

Thompson, 35, died three months after his arrest in June 2022 on a misdemeanor simple battery charge. Thompson, who suffered from schizophrenia, was placed in the psychiatric wing of the Fulton County Jail, the outlet stated.

A preliminary investigation into Thompson’s death resulted in three Fulton County Jail officials stepping down from their posts in April after the alleged state of Thompson’s jail cell went public. Aside from the filthy conditions, Thompson was reportedly covered in bedbugs when his body was found by jail officials, the presence of which “freaked out” them out.  

In addition to the unsanitary conditions of his cell, Thompson suffered from severe dehydration, CBS News reported. Weighing 180 pounds upon arriving at the jail facility, Thompson’s autopsy showed he had dropped over 30 pounds during his three month incarceration, the outlet stated.

“This man endured a torturous death,” Ben Crump, an attorney for Thompson’s family, said Monday, according to CBS News. “It is unfathomable that no one working in this facility lifted a finger to help Lashawn as he slowly died for three months on their watch. Their inaction, cruelty and inhumanity killed him.” (RELATED: REPORT: Inmate Found Unresponsive While In Custody, Third Death Within Month At California Jail)

Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat admitted that while he had not reviewed the whole of the independent autopsy report it was “painfully clear” there were multiple failures that led to Thompson’s death, the outlet reported.

“Repercussions for anyone found to be negligent in Mr. Thompson’s care could come once the full investigation is turned over to the GBI for review,” Labat stated, according to CBS News. “I remain committed to making sure the Thompson family receives the answers they need and deserve about the unconscionable circumstances surrounding Mr. Thompson’s death.”

The results of the autopsy will be handed over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation who are carrying out their own investigation into Thompson’s death, the outlet stated.