Sheriff McCann Reacts to Mistreatment Allegation - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Bob Snell Reports

Sheriff McCann Reacts to Mistreatment Allegation

April 29, 2004--Posted at 4:35 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--The Craighead County Detention Center is facing another possible lawsuit for mistreatment of a prisoner, but Sheriff Jack McCann says, this time there is no basis for any legal action.

"I always admit when we're wrong. I never hesitate for a second," says McCann. The sheriff is talking about when he admitted to KAIT, that inmate terry O'Neill, had been beaten at the hands of jailers. McCann promptly fired the four men he claims were responsible.

But as we shared on K8 news Wednesday, another inmate Alonzo Smith, now in the hospital, claims he's there because jailers refused to give him medicine critical to his care And he began to bleed internally.

"They put me in the critical care unit later on in the day and I had to have 2 units of blood," said Smith. "And later on I had to have another two units because I've lost so much blood, and I nearly died from the incident because they refused to give me my medication."

Sheriff McCann says because of health privacy laws he's not allowed to discuss a prisoner's specific medical conditions. But after discussing the issue with County Attorney Mike Rainwater, Sheriff McCann says there are no liability issues concerning Smith's treatment at the jail.

"What we did was legal and in legal terms we were not deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. And if Mr. Smith and Mr. Martin Lilly believe otherwise, then we'll see them in court." says McCann.

And Smith's attorney says that's exactly where this will probably end up.

"There appears to be some sort of pattern that they're not tending to the needs of these individuals. And I'll be honest with you, I've got several other cases that we're investigating right now," said Lilly.

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