Deceased inmates’ families file claim against county

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The families of the two men who died while inmates of the correctional facility have filed a wrongful death claim against Butler County.

Calvin Poole, attorney for the county, said the claim is a legal formality and doesn’t necessarily mean that a lawsuit is pending.

Emergency responders were called to the Butler County Correctional Facility on Feb. 10 after Ronnie O’Neal Warren complained of difficulty breathing and collapsed. He died enroute to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital.

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Warren was scheduled to be released that day.

Another inmate, Latarrian Smith, had been admitted to the hospital on Monday of that same week and died the Thursday after Warren.

During Monday’s commission meeting, Chairman Jesse McWilliams said the commission would not discuss the claim. He said the county was confident that the sheriff’s staff had followed protocol.

The ABI is investigating the death of Warren on request from Harden. – Staff Reports