Attorneys representing the sister of Charles Givens — a disabled inmate at Virginia’s Marion Correctional Therapy Middle who died after allegedly being crushed by correctional employees — have filed a brand new federal criticism now naming two jail supervisors.
NPR first wrote about this case final yr in a narrative that detailed allegations of abuse Givens could have suffered whereas incarcerated at Marion in a particular unit for inmates with disabilities and psychological sickness.
The unique lawsuit filed final February by Givens’ sister, Kym Hobbs, and her attorneys, Paul Stanley and Mark Krudys, alleged that Marion correctional officers Anthony Raymond Kelly, Gregory Scott Plummer, Joshua Jackson, William Zachary Montgomery and Samuel Dale Osborne participated within the savage beating of 52-year-old Givens to some extent, finally killing him.
Of their earlier reply to Hobbs’ lawsuit, the 5 officers have denied any wrongdoing. None of them have been criminally charged.
Attorneys for the officers did not instantly reply to NPR’s request for touch upon this new criticism.
This new, amended lawsuit filed Sunday now contains Capt. Travis S. Poston and now-former Marion Warden Jeffery Artrip as defendants together with the 5 beforehand named jail officers. It additionally lists a bunch of different ugly allegations of situations for inmates at Marion and the alleged inaction by jail supervisors when introduced with proof of abuse.
Artrip was Marion’s warden on the time of Givens’ loss of life. He has since left that facility to function warden at one other jail beneath the Virginia Division of Corrections system.
Poston was the supervising officer to the 5 beforehand named correctional employees that Hobbs and her attorneys allege beat Givens to loss of life. It is unclear whether or not he’s nonetheless employed throughout the VADOC system.
No legal professional info for Poston or Artrip was accessible.
The Virginia Division of Corrections did not reply to NPR’s request for remark. Hobbs’ attorneys haven’t made a public assertion on the brand new criticism.
The lawsuit seeks not less than $15 million in financial damages.
Givens was positioned in Marion due to his diminished psychological capability after he killed his mom’s dwelling well being care nurse in March 2010. He suffered a traumatic mind damage as a baby and was left with the emotional and mental growth of a second- or third-grader, his sister beforehand shared with NPR. He skilled delusions, in accordance with his medical historical past.
Allegations introduced in opposition to Marion supervisors
The criticism alleges that Poston and Artrip “disregarded apparent bodily proof of repeated beatings and torture” carried out by the officers on Givens.
“The indifference of those supervisors to CO [correctional officer] violence and cruelty in opposition to Mr. Givens (and different prisoners) created an surroundings of no accountability for such actions, which was little doubt seen as tacit approval, which instantly resulted in Mr. Givens’ loss of life,” the lawsuit alleges.
The criticism says Givens was transferred to an area hospital outdoors of the jail a number of occasions over time — with some stays lasting a number of days at a time. The lawsuit additionally alleges that there have been a number of documented accidents and incident studies that might have been seen by Artrip and identified to Poston. These studies “would have offered context to Mr. Givens’ 5 hospitalizations for hypothermia in 2021, in addition to his fixed, cruel detention within the ‘gap,’ ” the lawsuit alleges, referring to a segregated cell used to accommodate inmates as punishment.
Givens was allegedly attacked and crushed to loss of life by officers on Feb. 5, 2022. However there are quite a few documented events going again to 2014, when Givens allegedly suffered critical accidents and will have been bodily abused by correctional officers, in accordance with the criticism.
The lawsuit alleges Poston was the supervising officer on many of those events, when legal professionals say Givens suffered critical accidents together with head trauma, an eye fixed laceration, burns from scalding sizzling bathe water and “two separate situations (in February 2021 and October 2021) of probably cold-water torture of Mr. Givens, leading to hypothermia.”
Poston and Artrip did not self-discipline any officers when these situations have been reported and as a substitute retained abusive officers, the criticism says.
The criticism claims that Poston and Artrip “acted in a fashion that was intentionally detached to Mr. Givens’ Eighth Modification rights.”
Officers allegedly abused inmates in Marion’s bathe room
The lawsuit additionally particulars extra grisly allegations of Givens’ struggling whereas at Marion.
Givens had Crohn’s illness, which causes irritation of the digestive tract, and dirty himself plenty of occasions whereas incarcerated.
This new criticism alleges that regularly, correctional officers who have been charged with the care of Givens and different inmates ignored when Givens dirty his garments. They would depart him to lie in his personal urine and feces for hours, which can have led to “painful medical issues,” legal professionals allege.
This included a documented case of an abscess ulcer on Givens’ hip in 2016, in accordance with Hobbs’ attorneys.
The bathe room, the place Givens was allegedly fatally crushed in 2022, was the place the place officers usually carried out their abuse in opposition to Givens and different inmates, the criticism alleges.
“Former MCTC prisoners and cadre have said that the bathe room was a principal space during which prisoners have been abused by COs. The COs even had an expression for the follow; they known as it ‘being taken to the workplace,’ ” the lawsuit says.
This room has no cameras. The showers themselves are described as “mini cells with the tap outdoors of the bathe, which might solely be managed by the COs.” Which means the temperature of the water is managed by the guards.
Inmates like Givens might endure burns, however regularly have been sprayed with ice-cold water by guards, the lawsuit alleges.
Along with that, outdoors of the bathe room, officers would purposely open cell home windows — home windows inmates couldn’t shut themselves — in the course of the winter to show the inmates to the chilly, in accordance with claims by a witness who NPR just isn’t naming out of concern for his private security.
This witness, who spoke in video testimony beforehand reviewed by NPR, stated a number of inmates at Marion, together with Givens, have been hospitalized within the jail medical unit for hypothermia a number of occasions due to the chilly.