Grand jury declines indictment for 6 deputies in death of mentally ill inmate in Georgia jail

GA deputies were attempting to prevent him from jumping off the jail's second floor, inmate was tased and subsequently died

Six deputies of a north-central Georgia sheriff's office will not be indicted in the death of a mentally ill inmate who had been in jail overnight on a trespassing charge.

The Clayton County Sheriff's Office deputies faced charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and violating their oaths of office following the November death of Terry Lee Thurmond III, 38, of Hapeville, Georgia. His death was ruled a homicide by the county medical examiner’s office.

A grand jury declined Tuesday to indict but did not provide a reason, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Clayton County District Attorney Tasha Mosley said she was disappointed by the grand jury’s conclusion "but we respect their decision after hearing all of the evidence."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the Clayton County Sheriff's deputies were trying to stop Thurmond from jumping from the jail's second floor on Nov. 28. During the incident, Thurmond was tased amid a struggle and died.


grand jury declines indictment for 6 deputies in death of mentally ill inmate in georgia jail

A grand jury declined an indictment for six deputies who were involved in the death of a mentally ill inmate in a Georgia jail. 

The jailers restrained him by "placing hands, knees and their weight" on him "while he was laying face down for about 10-15 minutes," according to the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office. Minutes later, Thurmond was found to be unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at an area hospital, the medical examiner's office said.

Thurmond had a history of bipolar, paranoid schizophrenia and hypertension, the newspaper reported, citing the medical examiner. He was arrested the day before his death on charges of criminal trespass after entering secure areas of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport without a ticket. Atlanta Police also found "a warrant out of Fulton County with extradition for probation violation," the newspaper said.

Thurmond’s sister, Laterrel England, said in a statement her family was devastated about the grand jury’s decision, adding that "The system is broken."

"These officers collectively weighed at least 1,000 pounds and they sat on his back and neck until he was lifeless," she said. "Where is the justice for his mother, siblings, and children? When will this madness cease?"

The sheriff’s office announced in December it had fired the six deputies following an investigation of Thurmond’s death.

via FoxNews July 20th 2023