Mother files suit over jailed man's death

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The mother of an inmate who became deathly ill while being held in the Richmond County jail has sued the sheriff and county.

Loretta Harris filed the U.S. District Court lawsuit this week on behalf of her son, Antonio M. Broomer, 36, who was wrongfully held in jail for several months until his death in April 2007.

Agent Charles Kicklighter of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it has closed its case on Mr. Broomer's death. No criminal charges were brought in the matter, according to court records.

Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Thursday he couldn't discuss the allegations raised in pending litigation. A civil lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute.

Mr. Broomer was arrested Sept. 23, 2006, on forgery charges and could not make the $6,000 bond.

Three months later, the Richmond County grand jury decided not to indict him. Mr. Broomer should have been released, but the proper documentation wasn't sent from the District Attorney's Office.

In 2007, District Attorney Daniel Craig, now a Superior Court judge, told The Augusta Chronicle a clerical error was to blame. A computer program continued to show Mr. Broomer's case was pending indictment.

Sheriff Strength said Thursday that jailers cannot release anyone without the proper paperwork.

According to the federal lawsuit, Mr. Broomer, 36, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. On April 8, 2007, four months after he should have been released, Mr. Broomer was in the jail's special needs unit. He was given medication to treat his mental illness, according to the lawsuit, and he was also given anti-seizure medication he did not need.

At 5:15 a.m., Mr. Broomer was found naked and face-down on his bunk. A nurse recorded his pulse at 43 beats per minute. His temperature was so low she could not get a reading, according to the suit. Mr. Broomer was taken to University Hospital, where he died 12 hours later.

According to the lawsuit Mr. Broomer was diagnosed with sepsis and hypothermia. Fluid in the lungs indicated pneumonia and adult respiratory distress syndrome, the lawsuit contends.

Mr. Broomer's mother is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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JENASIX
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JENASIX 04/10/09 - 06:08 am
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Sheriff Ronnie Strength need

Sheriff Ronnie Strength need to do a better job with operating the jail because Charles Toole and Captain Huffman need to be replace.Sheriff Ronnie Strength, need to get off his lazy tail, it would not hurt for you to leave your desk and walk each pod of the jail and do a routine check.You know their a problem with the jail operation when jail deputies are bring in drugs for inmates to sell.Richmond County jail system is broken and need to be fix,so you can expect more lawsuit in the future.

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 04/10/09 - 06:22 am
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If this is the same guy he

If this is the same guy he was actually a really good friend of my brother's growing up. Really sad to find out his life ended like this. He used to come to dinner at my grandmother's house almost everyday, until he moved away from the neighborhood. He was a good kid, kinda to himself, but I never thought he may be mentally ill. My heart goes out to the family.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 04/10/09 - 07:10 am
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As the story said, there are

As the story said, there are two sides to every story. Lets wait until the trial begin.

heartablazing
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heartablazing 04/10/09 - 07:30 am
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The blame should be put

The blame should be put toward the district attorneys office. The man could not be released without proper paper work. doesn't sound like it was the fault of Sherriff Strenght.

RexHavoc
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RexHavoc 04/10/09 - 07:32 am
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Jena, I hear ya in

Jena, I hear ya in Stereotypics. It is so wonderful that our annual visitors from around the world have the opportunity to experience the high standards of grammer and logic that Augusta has to offer. Apparently the hope and change hasn't hit our local educational system yet.

STONEWALLJ1
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STONEWALLJ1 04/10/09 - 07:36 am
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For once, I agree with hypo.

For once, I agree with hypo.

WAG
287
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WAG 04/10/09 - 07:37 am
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There is no other side he was

There is no other side he was kept in jail when he should not have been there. Some lazy abehind not doing their job. Get rid of all of them.....And he was given medication he did not need...What if is was your loved one. You would be screaming your head off..... Danny Craig always had an excuse...Get off his high horse butt and see that the employees are doing what they should be doing....Oh a computer problem. Yea right. More like the computer user..... I hope she wins big!!!!!!

DEVGRU
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DEVGRU 04/10/09 - 08:14 am
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So a clerical error in the

So a clerical error in the District Attorney's Office delayed his release. Another glitch in the American Judicial System. It may be the best in the world, but it's far from efficient. If it was in the software there would be other "glitches" causing the same problem not just this one. Maybe his secretary is to blame.

karmakills123
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karmakills123 04/10/09 - 08:15 am
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Looks like mama need a new

Looks like mama need a new purse.

justus4
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justus4 04/10/09 - 08:26 am
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America eh? What's different
Unpublished

America eh? What's different about this pitiful situation than Iran or China. Citizen being held (probably to increase numbers to get more federal aid) with special needs and dies in their custody. Officals say, "we did all we could and no criminal charges filed" which smacks of a coverup and a lack of leadership. This is what concerned citizens are talking about when law enforcement abuses are discussed. And this poor mother will get no cooperation from the suspect agency, because just like in China & Iran, the corruption is throughout
the agency and stalling & delaying & denying is the result. The actual decision-making principals are now gone (moved to higher positions) and they never will be held to account. Wow! This penal system is a disgrace because the people paid to manage it are poor leaders and demonstrate questionable character. Traits also found (if informed by the AWM) in the leadership of China & Iran. So who are the bad guys?

bone
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bone 04/10/09 - 08:38 am
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what's different, justus4?

what's different, justus4? well, in china or iran let's see how far the mother's wrongful death suit would go (i'm guessing not too far). certainly this is a senseless death and the mother will get a nice check; wonder if she'll invest in victim's rights organizations. hmmm...

I4PUTT
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I4PUTT 04/10/09 - 08:48 am
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The ignorance of those who

The ignorance of those who have never visited other countries always amazes me. This is a horrible incident. My condolences to the family. Already the AWM is reporting on this situation and I certainly hope any problems in the RCJ will be addressed. Perhaps a law suit is in order. The mom has already established her value for her son. Less than $6000. Again how sad.

justmakescents
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justmakescents 04/10/09 - 08:52 am
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The sepsis was a death

The sepsis was a death sentence. Just lost a relative to that & no one knew she had it. She simply dropped dead @ home.

WW1949
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WW1949 04/10/09 - 08:59 am
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Senseless death and to

Senseless death and to justus4, maybe the people who you believe in would be better off if they just did not do the crimes or drugs and none of this would happen. I know mine would.

bone
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bone 04/10/09 - 09:10 am
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interesting point, 14putt; i

interesting point, 14putt; i wonder how many others noticed the missed bail opportunity.

Little Lamb
46017
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Little Lamb 04/10/09 - 09:16 am
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There is a good possibility

There is a good possibility that the mother was GLAD to leave him in jail (even after the grand jury turned in a No Bill). Since he was 36 years old and was a schizophrenic, she probably could not care for him well. Now that he's dead, some lawyer sees a pay day for her and for himself.

Little Lamb
46017
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Little Lamb 04/10/09 - 09:18 am
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But even though the mother

But even though the mother was glad to let him sit in jail, why, oh why did the courts, law enforcement, and jailers want him to sit there at taxpayer expense? Lazy, lazy, lazy. Our government workers have no appreciation for the people who pay their salaries. We taxpayers are saps, saps, saps.

TechLover
15
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TechLover 04/10/09 - 09:32 am
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WW: Didn't they say he wasn't

WW: Didn't they say he wasn't indicted? Write a bad check or get caught with a joint and you get to go to jail. Drive down the highway at 90 mph, endangering countless lives around you, and you get a fine (woohoo, they just increased the fines). Let's start calling speeding what it is, reckless endangerment, and start locking these people up. I know quite a few of the "I don't break the law" but drive like a bat out of h*ll crowd. Lastly, to Danny Craig: A "clerical error"? Maybe a couple of days until it got sorted out is a clerical error but FOUR MONTHS? Did you say this with a straight face?

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 04/10/09 - 09:38 am
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Where in the hell was his

Where in the hell was his lawyer? Are you telling me that the mother could not come up with $600.00 to get him out?

TechLover
15
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TechLover 04/10/09 - 09:38 am
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I4 and LL: If you don't have

I4 and LL: If you don't have the money, it doesn't matter if it's $6K or $600K.

TechLover
15
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TechLover 04/10/09 - 09:45 am
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Hypo: Probably a PD.

Hypo: Probably a PD.

toldya
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toldya 04/10/09 - 09:48 am
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justmakesense: how does one

justmakesense: how does one usually contract sepsis?

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 04/10/09 - 09:48 am
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He served more time waiting,

He served more time waiting, than he would have gotten if convicted.

toldya
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toldya 04/10/09 - 09:56 am
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techlover: I believe the only

techlover: I believe the only time the speeding becomes wreckless endangerment (according to the law) is when its over 10 or 15 mph over the speed limit, or if its done in a school zone. I mean unless its an emergency (hospital situation), what the he$$ is the rush- what 5 minutes faster? Idiots for not using cruise control

TechLover
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TechLover 04/10/09 - 10:04 am
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half: Sepsis is a systemic

half: Sepsis is a systemic infection. It can develop from a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, etc. They thought I had it last year. I was on DMARDS (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) which weaken the immune system. Luckily I didn't, it can be a killer.

TechLover
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TechLover 04/10/09 - 10:07 am
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told:I agree, minor speeding

told:I agree, minor speeding should not be so harshly punished. There are those who pass you like your standing still if you're going the speed limit. Also don't use cruise on a wet road. I found out the hard way over 25 years ago. Hey, what's a few 360s?

youdontknowme
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youdontknowme 04/10/09 - 10:12 am
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Seems to me the Mother knew

Seems to me the Mother knew her son had medical issues and didn't want to be bothered with him. Even panther said the guy ate dinner at his Grandmothers everyday. Seems like Mommy Dearest didn't care for her son, but she sure sees a way to make money off his death. Although, I know it was wrong for this man to have stayed in jail, I bet 'Mom' would have been the last person to give her needy son the help he needed and I'm sure he knew this. Mom shouldn't get a dime.

southernguy08
499
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southernguy08 04/10/09 - 10:15 am
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JUSTUS, where is your usual
Unpublished

JUSTUS, where is your usual rant against Bush, the Republicans, and the "non-minority media?" You obviously think we live in the worst country on Earth. It's amazing to me that you stay here. Try living in Iran or China and writing your daily crap. Your whining butt will be locked up faster than you say Obama.

justmakescents
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justmakescents 04/10/09 - 10:19 am
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I don't know. All I do know

I don't know. All I do know is it's a blood infection that is antibiotic resistant. She didn't even know she had it. We had her calling hours last night.

toldya
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toldya 04/10/09 - 10:28 am
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so sorry sense, so very sorry

so sorry sense, so very sorry for you- God has a another beautiful flower for his garden. I hope you will find peace.

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