Suit filed following inmate's suicide

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A father whose son committed suicide while in a southern Indiana jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff.

Lester E. Tipton Sr., who is the personal representative of the estate his son, Lester E. Tipton Jr., filed the suit last week against Lawrence County and Sam Craig, in his official capacity as sheriff of Lawrence County. Tipton Jr. was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated October 4, 2008, and booked into the Lawrence County Jail. No one asked any mental health or medical questions during intake and Tipton Jr. later told sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers he was going to kill himself. No one acted on the threat and he killed himself that same day.

The suit alleges that the sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers were deliberately indifferent to his need for increased monitoring or health screening, and at the time of his death, the jail was overcrowded. Because of the overcrowding, the officials couldn’t properly monitor Tipton Jr.

The suit claims Tipton Jr. was deprived of his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and 14th amendments of the federal Constitution, and under Article 1, Sections 11, 15, 16, and 21 of the Indiana Constitution.

The suit, Lester E. Tipton Sr. v. Lawrence County, et al., No. 4:10-CR-120, seeks compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and any other proper relief.


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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

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  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon