Casper, WY -- As we reported recently, the family of a man who killed himself in jail is suing Natrona County. 32-year-old Larry Turner was found dead at the Natrona County Detention Center the day after being booked for allegedly violating the terms of his bond. Turner's family members say it didn't have to end this way, and in their wrongful death lawsuit, they charge that detention center personnel could've saved Turner's life if they had taken reasonable steps.
Alecia Boyles, the mother of Turner's daughter, says no matter what a person has done, they're still a loved one. "Everybody is somebody to someone, you know? What if that was your child, or your brother or your sister: You would care!" Boyles said. On October 12th, 2011, investigators say Larry Turner was driving under the influence when he crashed the car he was driving, killing one passenger and severely injuring the two others. His family isn't making excuses for him. His mother Darlene Turner says he was a kind, fun-loving boy who got into some bad situations. "He never ever would say that 'I didn't deserve that' ... He said the time he did in there he felt it was meant to be," Turner said.
But after getting out on bond, Turner was booked back into jail March 23rd, 2012 for violating the terms of his bond. The next day, he was found dead in his cell from a morphine overdose.
"I can't help it that they didn't like my son, but he didn't deserve that, and he did ask for help and they just told him to go to bed," Darlene Turner said. The lawsuit charges the process broke down from the beginning; that the nurse who did his intake didn't identify Turner was a risk to himself, and that jailers ignored his pleas for help. "It's a failure of following their own policy and then their ignoring information that they received that there was something wrong with Larry," said the family's attorney Tim Kingston. And he thinks it's more than just a one-time case. "Three people have died that I know of and there may have been more since -- including Larry -- since he died and it clearly shows that this jail has not learned anything from either the death of Larry or the other two individuals," Kingston added.
The Natrona County attorney declined to comment on pending litigation. Because of his past criminal record, the aspiring rapper could've spent life in prison if convicted for the accident, but Boyles says at least he could have kept in touch with his 7-year-old daughter. "Now the only relationship she's going to have is the memories she has and what other people have to say," Boyles said.
Kingston says he hopes this won't actually have to go to trial, and the family will be able to settle out of court.