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What you need to know for 03/28/2017

Inmate who died in Schenectady jail is identified

Inmate who died in Schenectady jail is identified

A 53-year-old city man in custody for nearly two weeks is the person who died at the Schenectady Cou
Inmate who died in Schenectady jail is identified
The exterior of the Schenectady County Correctional Facility, located on Veeder Avenue in the city.
Photographer: DAILY GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

A 53-year-old city man in custody for nearly two weeks is the person who died at the Schenectady County Correctional Facility on Sunday morning, Sheriff Dominic Dagostino said today.

Jail guards found Jimmy Richardson, most recently of Emmett Street, unresponsive in his cell Sunday morning after he didn’t respond to a breakfast call, Dagostino said.

No cause of death has been released.

Richardson was taken into county custody Jan. 4 after an arrest that day on a first-degree criminal contempt charge. He entered the jail the next day, after spending time at Ellis Hospital for a medical issue suffered around the time of his arraignment, Dagostino said.

The jail medical staff then saw him upon his entry into the jail and monitored his treatment, Dagostino said. Jail guards discovered him unresponsive at about 7:45 a.m. Sunday.

“At this point, it appears that we followed our protocols, and there’s nothing at this particular stage to indicate anything suspicious in how he died or how our procedures were followed,” Dagostino said.

The criminal contempt charge against Richardson related to allegations he violated a stay-away order of protection by being in the presence of his step-daughter the morning of Jan. 4. Police spotted him there after responding to a domestic disturbance at the address, according to papers filed in court. The charge increased to a felony due to a prior misdemeanor contempt conviction from 2013, papers indicate.

Richardson’s death follows the Aug. 2, 2015, death of 34-year-old Terrance Duncan at the jail. Duncan died that evening after being under constant medical supervision, according to the Sheriff’s Office at the time.

At least two other jail deaths in recent years led to lawsuits; one of them ended in a $425,000 settlement last month.

The settlement related to the April 29, 2013, opiate withdrawal death of inmate Nicole Carmen. Her attorney called her death “tragic and preventable” and contended jail medical provider Correctional Medical Care has a pattern of misconduct.

Correctional Medical Care made no admission of liability or responsibility in the settlement. The company paid the full $425,000 amount.

Still pending is a lawsuit filed in August against Correctional Medical Care related to the May 28, 2014, Schenectady County jail suicide of 29-year-old Lucky Lee Wilkins Jr.

The Wilkins suit alleges that he sought assistance for depression from medical staff at the jail and at Ellis Hospital, but never received any meaningful care.

Dagostino has said generally that the jail reacts quickly and thoroughly if someone threatens to harm himself or herself.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, scook@dailygazette.net or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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