NewsLEX 18 Investigates


Lawrenceburg mother sues jail, claims her son died because of negligence

WARNING: Parts of the video attached to this story may be upsetting to watch for some viewers.
Posted at 6:43 PM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2020-02-04 11:17:56-05

A Lawrenceburg woman has filed a federal lawsuit against the Franklin County Regional Jail and others for wrongful death claiming her son died in the jail due to gross negligence. Leslie Glass says her son, Dylan Stratton who was in drug withdrawal, didn't receive emergency medical care and as a result, died while in custody. Glass is also suing the medical company that provides health services to the jail.

The complaint states, 'Dylan would not have died but for Defendants' gross, unconscionable and deliberate indifference to the tortures of his untreated benzodiazepine withdrawal.'

On January 23rd of this year, Stratton was found dead in his cell after what the lawsuit describes as days of lack of treatment and suffering from withdrawal symptoms related to drug use.

Glass says Dylan had been struggling with the death of his step-father when he was arrested January 17th on drug and wanton endangerment charges. He admitted using marijuana and ecstasy on top of his high blood pressure medicine.

That would be his first and last trip to the Franklin County Regional Jail. Less than a week later, Dylan Stratton died in his jail cell.

LEX 18 obtained hours and hours of video showing Stratton inside his jail cell along with two video court appearances. Attorneys representing the family claim the jail's own video shows Stratton's deteriorating health. Greg Belzley said in an interview, "I challenge anybody to watch that video and not be appalled."

Franklin County District Court Judge Kathy Mangeot is seen on court video asking deputy jailers about Stratton's appearance saying, "Is this a detoxing situation? What is going on?"

The lawsuit claims Southern Health Partners, the medical company hired to treat inmates, "fabricated" health records after Stratton's death. SHP denies such a claim and wrote in a legal response to the suit that its employees acted in "good faith."

Leslie Glass hopes no other person has to suffer how her son did. She said, "I want something to change because I know there's going to be other young adults that make mistakes. Their parents are going to be just like me thinking, 'Well, you know this is the best, at least I know he's safe. No, they're not safe."

In a media release, Frankfort Police said, "The Frankfort Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division conducted a thorough investigation and deemed this event was not criminal in nature. After Mr. Stratton’s autopsy was performed by the Medical Examiner, the Franklin County Coroner provided the Frankfort Police Department with a death certificate that concluded Mr. Stratton’s cause of death was natural causes with contributing factors of obesity and chronic drug abuse. The investigation was closed at that time by the Frankfort Police Department."

To read the lawsuit, click here.

To read the legal response to the lawsuit from Southern Health Partners, click here.