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NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell 

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  #11  
Old 03-20-2014, 12:01 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
There may have been issues in the jail's ventilation system as stated, but, you'd think knowing the man had mental and medical issues, they would have checked on him as instructed and could have opened the vent. That's their job!

Someone should be held responsible.
lol yeah idk, god forbid the jailers get uncomfortable.... I just wouldnt be surprised if it was mistreatment and negligence
Homeless ppl get less respect and I for one, believe it to be bullshit

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  #12  
Old 03-20-2014, 11:10 PM
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*Death of NYC Inmate in Overheated Cell Probed

March 20, 2014

JAKE PEARSON
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Investigators are probing how a mentally ill, homeless, New York City veteran died last month in a jail cell that city officials told The Associated Press had overheated to at least 100 degrees, apparently because of malfunctioning equipment.

Acting Department of Correction Commissioner, Mark Cranston, said in a statement Wednesday that investigators were looking at the circumstances surrounding Jerome Murdough's, "unfortunate death."

"While we cannot comment on the facts surrounding his death while the investigation is underway, preliminary information suggests there were unusually high temperatures in Mr. Murdough's cell," he said.

Four city officials told the AP that the 56 year old former Marine was on anti-psychotic and anti-seizure medication, which may have made him more vulnerable to heat. He also apparently did not open a small vent in his cell, as other inmates did, to let in cool air.

"He basically baked to death," said one of the officials, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to discuss specifics of the case.

The Medical Examiner's Office said an autopsy was inconclusive and that more tests were needed to determine Murdough's exact cause of death. But, the officials, all with detailed knowledge of the case, say initial indications from the autopsy and investigation point to extreme dehydration or heat stroke.

The department said it had addressed two contributing factors an outside consultant identified as causing the excess heat. It also said temperature checks immediately after the death revealed that several cells nearby were over 80 degrees.

Murdough was arrested February 7, on a misdemeanor trespassing charge for sleeping in an enclosed stairwell on the roof of a public housing building in Harlem and sent to Rikers after being unable to post a $2,500 bail, court records show.

"He was found dead in his cell in a special unit for inmates with mental illnesses a week later, in the early hours of February 15," the officials said.

Advocates for mentally ill inmates, say Murdough's death represents the failure of the city's justice system on almost every level: by arresting him instead of finding him help, by setting bail at a prohibitive $2,500, and by not supervising him closely in what is supposed to be a special observation unit for inmates with mental illnesses.

"He was a very lovely, caring guy," said Murdough's 75 year old mother, Alma Murdough, adding that her son had bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and that she had not seen him in about three years.

"He had beer problems. Drinking beer. That was his downfall. Other than that, he was a very nice guy. He'd give you the shirt off his back."

Alma Murdough said she hadn't learned of her son's death until the AP contacted her last week, nearly a month after he died. His public defender was told of the death three days after the inmate was found, the DOC said.

Family members say Murdough grew up in Queens and joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, doing at least one stint in Okinawa, Japan.

When he returned from the service, his family said, both his mental illness and thirst for alcohol became more pronounced, and he would often disappear for months at a time, finding warmth in hospitals, shelters and on the streets.

"When he wanted to venture off, we let him, we allowed him to come and go," recalled his sister, Cheryl Warner. "He always came back."

"Murdough's criminal record included 11 misdemeanor convictions for trespassing, drinking in public and minor drug charges," said Ivan Vogel, a public defender who represented him at his arraignment on the trespassing charge.

Murdough, a mentally ill, homeless former Marine arrested for sleeping in the roof landing of a New York City public housing project during one of the coldest recorded Winters in City history, died last month in a Rikers Island jail cell that multiple city officials say was at least 100 degrees when his body was discovered.

"Murdough, 56, was found dead in his cell in a mental observation unit in the early hours of February 15, after excessive heat, believed to be caused by an equipment malfunction, redirected its flow to his upper level cell," the officials said.

According to the City officials, "Murdough was locked alone into his 6 by 10 cinder block cell at about 10:30 p.m. on February 14, a week after his arrest."

"Because he was in the Mental Observation Unit, he was supposed to be checked every 15 minutes as part of suicide watch," they said. But, Murdough was not discovered until four hours later, at about 2:30 a.m. on February 15. He was slumped over in his bed and already dead.

When Murdough was found and his cell opened, his internal body temperature and the temperature in the cell were at least 100 degrees. Those temperatures could have been higher before he was discovered because the cell had been closed for several hours, the officials said.

Dr. Susi Vassallo, an associate professor at New York University School of Medicine and a national expert on heat related deaths who monitors heat conditions at Rikers Island, said psychotropic medications can impair the body's ability to cool itself by sweating, making it retain more heat than it should.

"Exposure to intense heat for a couple of hours by someone on such medications could be fatal," she said.

Wanda Mehala, another of Murdough's sisters, said the family wants an explanation.

"We want justice for what was done," she said. "He wasn't just some old homeless person on the street. He was loved. He had a life. He had a family. He had feelings."

In this May 17, 2011, file photo, a section of the Rikers Island prison is seen in New York.
AP Photo: Seth Wenig, File

An undated photo provided by family showing Jerome Anthony Murdough, is seen March 12, 2014, in the Queens borough of New York.

Your Source For Death Pictures and Death Video
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  #13  
Old 03-21-2014, 07:54 AM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

It's not possible to "bake" at 100 degrees.

That's just a typical Summer like temperature.

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  #14  
Old 03-21-2014, 12:24 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

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Originally Posted by Oswald2001 View Post
It's not possible to "bake" at 100 degrees.

That's just a typical Summer like temperature.
ya certain meds will affect the bodys own cooling mechanism, I was on a medication once that warned me about heat and sun light, I ended up with 2nd degree burns and dehydration after being outside for 5-6 hours in less than 100 degree heat, BUT im in Arizona.....thats way different than a jail cell

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Old 03-21-2014, 03:46 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

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Originally Posted by Oswald2001 View Post
It's not possible to "bake" at 100 degrees.

That's just a typical Summer like temperature.
I think they mean Celsius

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  #16  
Old 03-21-2014, 03:52 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

They don't mean Celsius lol, 100 Celsius he would have boiled that's 230 f.

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  #17  
Old 03-22-2014, 12:42 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

Most of the homelessness has a base of mental illness. Unfortunately the kids with mental problems tend to self medicate to cope and this country hasn't learned to understand that...there is so much drug abuse maybe there is a correlation with the social environmental structure of our nation?

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Old 03-22-2014, 05:04 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

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Originally Posted by petedeamon View Post
Most of the homelessness has a base of mental illness. Unfortunately the kids with mental problems tend to self medicate to cope and this country hasn't learned to understand that...there is so much drug abuse maybe there is a correlation with the social environmental structure of our nation?
ya, and its upsetting to think some of these are our vets.... and now our children are taking the same route. Now that parents are losing their morals and values, drugs have exploded, and the law has taken the rights of parents to "whoop that ass", Id say in general, future generations are screwed unless they pull together to change it because "we" as their elders cant make them grow up and change and we sure as hell cant raise them forever
reap what you sow ......

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Old 03-22-2014, 05:07 PM
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Re: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

Very sad for everyone

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