CLEVELAND, OHIO — Cuyahoga County Jail is under investigation after a series of deaths have occurred in only a span of four months. With this in mind, Judge Nelson has had enough.
SOMETHING’S GOT TO BE DONE
According to Cleveland Metro News, Municipal Judge Michael Nelson contacted the source on Tuesday, October 2, to make an announcement.
The source says the jail deaths are “disturbing” to Nelson. Now, he’s no longer comfortable with sending law offenders there, unless it’s for violent crimes.
Instead, Judge Nelson plans to set personal bonds for other offenders — allowing those with non-violent infractions to leave the court without having to first post bail. He told the source as follows:
“The first thing I did this morning when I saw [the cleveland.com] story is look to see if it was someone I sent to jail. I’m giving personal bonds to everyone from now on unless they’re the worst of the worst until things get figured out at the jail.”
Accordingly, Nelson reached out to Michelle Earley — the court’s administrative judge — to set up meetings with jail officials. She responded with a follow-up email.
“Both the warden of the county jail and the Chief of Public Safety for Cuyahoga County have agreed to meet with me so that the Court can get a better understanding of what is going on with the jail, what has happened in these situations and what plans the jail has/will implement to prevent further inmate deaths in the facility,” Earley mentioned in her response.
Judge Nelson reportedly plans to get to the core of this situation and discover why inmates are dying at the facility.
Cleveland Metro News states the latest victim was 44-year-old Allan Martin Gomez. The source notes he died only 4 days after being jailed in the facility. As reports the source, his death is the sixth in county custody since June 22.
“He was arrested Friday on a warrant issued months ago,” the source states. “He was charged with fifth-degree felony cocaine possession, meaning Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority police accused him of possessing less than five grams of the drug.”
The source reports he was taken to a medical facility after his arraignment in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court — where Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula set Gomez’s bond at $1,500.
Cleveland Metro News states that, unfortunately, Cuyahoga County officials have refused to release information pertaining to the inmates’ deaths. According to the source, county spokeswoman, Mary Louise Madigan, wouldn’t offer any details regarding Gomez’s hospital visit, or the particulars surrounding his death.
Supposedly, the medical examiner has yet to determine the man’s C.O.D.
What do you think is going on at Cuyahoga County Jail? We’d love to know your thoughts about it. If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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[Feature Photo via Twitter]