Jailed man dies from undiagnosed leukemia

3 months 3 days 19 hours ago Friday, April 12 2019 Apr 12, 2019 Friday, April 12, 2019 2:22:00 PM CDT April 12, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Leukemia killed a Missouri jail inmate whose health deteriorated before he was found dead in his cell, according to a medical examiner's report.

Lamar Catchings, who was 20, wasn't diagnosed until after he died on March 1 in the St. Louis County jail, where he had been incarcerated for 11 months on assault and armed criminal action charges, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

A medical examiner report obtained through a public record request says he most likely had an aggressive form of leukemia in which too many immature blood-forming cells, called promyelocytes, accumulate in the blood and bone marrow. Blood tests can be used to diagnose the condition, which is considered the most curable form of adult leukemia, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

"I would have given anything just to hold him and help him through his pain," his mother, Tashonda Troupe, said in a statement. "They ignored him and left him to die an inhumane death, which to me is criminally negligent."

Catchings was the third inmate to die in the county jail this year. The County Council has scheduled an inquiry into jail procedures starting with a hearing on Tuesday.

"We want to know what process and procedures are in place for assisting an inmate who is having obvious health issues," Rochelle Walton Gray, chairwoman of the County Council's Justice, Health and Welfare Committee, said in a statement Thursday. "Were these protocols being followed? If not, what needs to change?"

The medical examiner, Dr. Mary Case, declined in an interview to say whether leukemia should have been diagnosed. But she added that a person suffering from acute promyelocytic leukemia would usually be "desperately ill" and seek medical attention.

In a jailhouse interview last month with a Post-Dispatch reporter, Desean Pitts, an inmate in an adjacent cell, said Catchings appeared to be extremely sick and weak for at least two weeks before he died. Pitts said Catchings had told him his eyes and ears hurt, that he could not hear out of one ear, and that he had pain on one side of his body.

Catchings had been able to walk into a St. Louis County courtroom on Jan. 25, but at his next court appearance on Feb. 22, he was in a wheelchair. Courtroom video obtained by the Post-Dispatch through a public record request showed that Catchings struggled to rise when the judge entered the courtroom, and he frequently held his head in his hands.

The medical examiner's report said a nurse working at the jail reported that Catchings had been acting "weird" in the days before his death. Asked to elaborate, she told an investigator that he had complained of headache, nausea and vomiting on Feb. 18 and Feb. 22, and of weakness, dizziness and a burning feeling in his chest on Feb. 26.

Catchings may have died several hours before he was discovered, the report said. The medical examiner found a jail guard did not follow protocol by having Catchings stand in his cell when checking on inmates at 10 p.m. the night before. Instead, the guard looked through his cell door window and saw Catchings lying on his back in bed in the same position in which he was later discovered dead.

Julia Childrey, the county's interim justice services director, did not respond to a request for comment from the Post-Dispatch or The Associated Press.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — A major theft from an agricultural store in Pike County Missouri was thwarted by Ralls County Sheriff's Office... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 14 2019 Jul 14, 2019 Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:57:00 PM CDT July 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Drivers who use the I-70 bridge over the Missouri River near Rocheport will have three opportunities to ask... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 14 2019 Jul 14, 2019 Sunday, July 14, 2019 6:33:00 PM CDT July 14, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- Power was fully restored in New York early Sunday after an outage left parts of the city in... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, July 14 2019 Jul 14, 2019 Sunday, July 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM CDT July 14, 2019 in News
LOUISIANA (AP) - Hurricane Barry could affect the environment of the Gulf coast and Lower Mississippi Valley in numerous ways,... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, July 14 2019 Jul 14, 2019 Sunday, July 14, 2019 9:41:00 AM CDT July 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Deputies from the Gasconade County Sheriff's Office citizens can now rest easy after an investigation into a vehicle... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 13 2019 Jul 13, 2019 Saturday, July 13, 2019 5:50:00 PM CDT July 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Orr Street Studio hosted it's Second Saturday for Kids event Saturday afternoon. Organizers said the goal... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 13 2019 Jul 13, 2019 Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:14:00 PM CDT July 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community leaders and project sponsors cut the ribbon off the MU Health Care Pavilion at Columbia's Agriculture Park... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 13 2019 Jul 13, 2019 Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:53:00 AM CDT July 13, 2019 in News
CHARITON COUNTY - FEMA representatives will visit Brunswick this Sunday, July 14 to help get neighbors signed up for assistance.... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 13 2019 Jul 13, 2019 Saturday, July 13, 2019 10:10:41 AM CDT July 13, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - The city council is set to hear a report regarding public suggestions for the city's three dog parks... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, July 13 2019 Jul 13, 2019 Saturday, July 13, 2019 8:39:00 AM CDT July 13, 2019 in News
PRAIRIE HOME - Prairie Home Fair organizers say there's an old saying that "once you get a job at the... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 7:52:00 PM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Camden County deputies seized seven different kinds of drugs while executing a search warrant at a location on... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 6:56:00 PM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The FTC has voted to approve a fine of about $5 billion for Facebook over... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 5:38:55 PM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 75 people gathered outside the Boone County Jail on Friday to protest human detention camps. ... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 2:46:00 PM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
ASHLAND - Administrators in several mid-Missouri school districts had mixed reactions to a new law pushing back school start dates.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A new global partnership announced by the UM System on Friday will bring more opportunities to Missouri, according... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 12:10:00 PM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
FAYETTE - A woman accused of bullying a co-worker and contributing to his suicide pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault Friday.... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 11:17:04 AM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is stepping down following criticism of his handling of... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 9:10:00 AM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - UM System leaders are set to announce a partnership with a major international health company as part of... More >>
4 days ago Friday, July 12 2019 Jul 12, 2019 Friday, July 12, 2019 2:40:00 AM CDT July 12, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
6pm 85°
7pm 85°
8pm 83°
9pm 80°