MILWAUKEE — The company that provided medical services at a Wisconsin prison was found guilty of the death of an inmate from dehydration in 2016.
Miami-based Armor Correctional Health Services Inc. was charged in 2018 with criminal abuse of residents of a correctional facility and seven counts of tampering with health records in the death of 38-year-old Terrill Thomas.
Thomas was arrested in April 2016 after running into the Potawatomi casino in Milwaukee, ordering everyone out, then shooting a handgun twice. No one was hurt. His family said Thomas likely experienced a psychotic episode.
He was placed in solitary confinement in the Milwaukee County Jail. Guards cut off his access to water because they said they saw him stuff his shirt and mattress pieces into his toilet to flood the cell.
Prosecutors said Armor employees claimed they checked on Thomas while he was in isolation, but surveillance video showed them walking past his cell “without stopping or ever appearing in his cell.” The charges also allege that an Armor employee at some point “fabricated blood pressure and pulse readings” for Thomas.
Thomas died after a week in isolation.
A Milwaukee County Circuit Court jury returned the verdict against the company on Tuesday evening, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“Armor Correctional betrayed the trust of the people of Milwaukee County not only by neglecting Mr. Thomas and others, but also by attempting to hide the negligence by falsifying medical records,” District Attorney John Chisholm said in a statement Wednesday. a statement.
Armor’s attorney, Patrick J. Knight, said the company will appeal the verdict and several pretrial rulings.
A sentencing hearing was scheduled for November 16. The company faces fines of up to $190,000.
Three prison officials were also convicted of criminal charges in Thomas’ death, including negligence and misconduct.