Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Police Jury’ Category

Sheriff added to lawsuit on inmate death


Lincoln Parish Sheriff Stephen Williams was this week added as a defendant in the federal lawsuit alleging negligence in the death of a detention center inmate.

See here the amended complaint.

Demerious Jones died in September, 2021 while in custody of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, partly as a result of diabetic keto acidosis. The suit alleges that detention center staff were deliberately indifferent to Jones’ medical condition, and contributed to his death.

The original lawsuit named two nurses, several deputies, and the detention center commission.

However, after receiving a copy of the cooperative endeavor agreement between the commission and the sheriff, plaintiff attorneys added Williams to the suit.

According to the agreement, “The SHERIFF agrees to provide for the basic routine health care needs of the Detention Center inmates, with all health care personnel responsible for dispensing medical services to inmates meeting all necessary certification and licensing requirements required by law.”


Police Jury to partner with City on Animal Shelter


A three-person committee was last night tasked with negotiating a permanent agreement with the City of Ruston to house animals that are picked up in the parish. The action took place in the Public Works Committee meeting and was ratified by the full jury.

A temporary agreement now in place expires on May 30 of this year.

Appointed to the committee were Interim Parish Administrator Courtney Hall, and Jurors Theresa Wyatt and Glenn Scriber.

The committee authorized the parish road crew to assist, subject to availability, with street repair and ditch clean out for the City of Grambling and the Town of Dubach.

See here the requests.

The Solid Waste & Recycling Committee heard from Jon Fourrier, landfill engineering expert regarding the future of the parish’s landfill.

Currently, the parish operates a construction and demolition debris landfill only, with household municipal waste taken to the Union Parish landfill. The C&D landfill is almost full, so additional area will have to be developed.

The new area is north of the now-closed municipal waste area and to the west of the existing C&D area. It will cover about six acres.

The committee approved, and the full jury ratified proceeding with permitting applications for the new site.

Police Jury meets tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury and two of its committee’s will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, April 11) at the Lincoln Parish Court House, 100 West Texas Avenue, third floor.

Here are the agendas and meeting times:

Public Works Committee: 5:30 PM – agenda.

Solid Waste & Recycling Committee: 6:15 PM – agenda.

Police Jury: 7:00 PM – agenda.

Reagan Sutton’s public service recognized

LPPJ Administrator Courtney Hall, President Richard Durrett, Karen Sutton Sanders, Jennifer Sutton Farrar, Joey Sutton

Long-time Lincoln Parish Police Jury Secretary-Treasurer and Administrator Reagan Sutton was recognized at last night’s meeting of the jury as a public servant who was honest, forthright, dedicated, and committed to good government in Lincoln Parish.

On hand to receive a resolution of condolence and recognition were Sutton’s two daughters and son, and several other family members.

Said Interim Administrator Courtney Hall, “As I was writing this resolution it was really profound to me that I was sitting at his desk in his office.”

Among the Lincoln Parish institutions and services Sutton had a hand in developing were the Lincoln Parish Library, the Lincoln Parish Solid Waste System, the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, and the Lincoln Parish Park.

See here the complete resolution. Sutton passed away in February at the age of 87.

Earlier, the Finance Committee approved language that will amend the law that governs the Lincoln Parish Hospital Proceeds Fund.

Said Treasurer Michael Sutton, “This bill will allow to invest the funds in more prudent investments, which would allow a more stable revenue stream. That statute has a longer list of instruments that we can invest in compared to the way we are currently doing it.”

The principal – about $10 million – won’t be spent, but the interest from investments would be used for health related projects.

Also, requests for proposals will be solicited for management of the fund and its investments.

See here the draft of changes to the law. The full jury approved the committee’s action.

Police Jury meets tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, March 14, Lincoln Parish Court House, 101 West Texas Avenue, third floor conference room.

Here are the committee meeting times and agendas.

5:00 PM – Finance Committee – Agenda

5:20 PM – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee – Agenda

5:40 PM – Personnel and Benefits Committee – Agenda

6:00 PM – Solid Waste & Recycling Committee – Agenda

6:30 PM – Public Works Committee – Agenda

7:00 PM – Police Jury – Agenda

Trial date set for Detention Center death lawsuit


A 9:00 AM, February 6, 2024 trial date has been set for the civil case of Jones v Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission, et al, in US Court for the Western District of Louisiana, in Monroe.

The order, signed yesterday by Magistrate Judge Kayla McClusky, also sets various other dates and times for motions, conferences and submissions.

See here the signed order.

In other developments in the case, a Ridgeland, MS attorney has petitioned the court to sign on as plaintiff co-counsel. Sean Guy is with McCraney Montagnet Quin & Noble PLLC.

See here the motion.

Grant Castillo of The Townsley Law Firm, LLP, Lake Charles initially filed the suit.

The complaint alleges that Demerious Jones was denied medical care while in the custody of the detention center and died as a result.

Governor’s race comes to LPPJ


We can’t recall ever seeing a candidate for Louisiana Governor at a Lincoln Parish Police Jury meeting, but we saw it last night.

Richard Nelson is a 36 year old who grew up in Mandeville, LA. He serves as a state representative for District 89, which includes a good portion of the Lake Pontchartrain Northshore.

Nelson says “I want parents in Houston and New York to be telling their friends that their kid just got a job in Louisiana, not the other way around.”

He noted that the last time Louisiana gained a congressional seat from population growth was 1910, when the state went from 7 to 8 seats.

The state now only has 6.

While Louisiana has increased in population, other states have grown faster, causing the loss of representation.

One of the planks in his platform is to repeal the state income tax, so as to be more competitive with neighboring states.

Police Jury business was as routine as we have seen in some time.

The Public Works Committee approved, and the full jury ratified, purchase of 6 rail tank car culverts. Only $36 thousand was budgeted for this purpose, but the lowest responsive bid was $136 thousand. The finance committee will have to execute a budget amendment to cover the extra cost.

Also approved was purchase of 80 acres for $220 thousand near Hwy 545 for use as an iron ore pit. Iron ore is commonly used as a road base material in the region.

Three board vacancies were announced, one for the Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control, and two for the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

Police Jury meets tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, February 14, Lincoln Parish Court House, 100 West Texas Ave., third floor conference room.

Here are the agendas and meeting times:

Public Works Committee – 6:30 PM

Police Jury – 7:00 PM

Autopsy, reports confirm parts of wrongful death suit


Several allegations contained in the federal lawsuit Jones v LPDCC have been confirmed, according to a coroner’s autopsy and investigator’s reports.

The suit was filed in September, 2022 by Franequa Jones, who alleged that her son Demerious was neglected while in the custody of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center in September, 2021, and died as a result of that negligence.

Franequa died soon after the suit was filed, but just this past Thursday, a motion was filed that would substitute Demerious’ sister as plaintiff, as she is the heir to his estate.

In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Demerious Jones was diabetic, and that detention center medical personnel were aware of his condition.

In a report, Union Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael McClain stated:

“While on scene I was advised Jones is known at LPDC due to him being a repeat offender and being housed at LPDC on numerous occasions. I was advised Jones is a diabetic who frequently neglects his heath.”

The lawsuit alleges that Jones exhibited symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is potentially life-threatening.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Frank Peretti, who conducted the autopsy, wrote:

“This 21-year-old,  black  male,  Demerious Jones, died of  hypertensive  cardiovascular disease with contributory factor of diabetic ketoacidosis.   Investigation of the circumstances of death revealed that the decedent was an inmate at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center when he became unresponsive. Reportedly, he had a history of diabetes mellitus.”

Also alleged in the suit was that Jones exhibited deteriorating health symptoms prior to his death.

Again, from McClain’s report:

“On 9/23/21at approximately 0800 hrs,Jones was placed in his holding cell and left on his bed. At approximately 0816, deputies returned to Jones’s cell and assisted him in moving his mattress to the floor. Over the next few hours Jones remained on the floor and was observed on his own,using his cup to drink water from the toilet.

“At approximately 1223 hrs, Jones was brought a tray of food. It appeared Jones refused to eat the food when offered by the deputies.The food tray was left on Jones’s bed and remained untouched. During this time Jones would move around on the floor and shift his position.

“At approximately 1459 hrs, deputies entered Jones’s cell for a medical checkup.The deputies assisted Jones in drinking and attempted to have him eat some food. At approximately 1543 hrs,Jones was brought another tray of food which he ignored. Over the next several hours Jones remained on the floor and continued to shift his positions and would prop up on his elbow and hands for time to time. 

“On the following morning of 9/24/21,Jones was still on the floor and appeared to vomit on himself. During this time I did observed deputies visually observe Jones by either opening the door or looking through the window.

“At approximately 0557 hrs. Nurse Jennifer entered the room and conducted a sugar test on Jones which she noted in her report. Jones remained on the floor but would continue to move around.

“At approximately 0726,Jones appeared to vomit again. Over the next few hours I observed Deputies to randomly check on Jones in which he appeared to communicate back with the deputy.

“At approximately 1158 hrs,Nurse Jennifer entered Jones’s cell and performed a sugar test and later administered the insulin she noted. At approximately 1233 hours Jones appeared to take several distressed breaths after which I could not detect any movement via the footage.

“At approximately 1247,a deputy entered with Nurse Jennifer. They were observed checking for a pulse at which point Jones was pulled out from under the bed and CPR was begun.”

See here all the documents.

Also of note is that the investigation was done not by the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office, but by deputies from Ouachita and Uniion parishes, via an agency called the North Louisiana Sheriff’s Investigative Unit (NLSIU).

That agency was formed 2021 to investigate in-custody deaths and excessive force allegations, and is composed of investigators from Lincoln, Union, Ouachita, Caldwell, Franklin, Morehouse, and Richland parish sheriffs offices.

We can find no legislative authority for such an investigative unit.

LPSO responsible for prisoner medical care, per agreement


The Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the health and medical care of prisoners and detainees at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center, per a cooperative endeavor agreement signed in June, 2020 by Sheriff Stephen Williams and detention center commission Chairman Joe Henderson.

The agreement expires 6/30/2024.

  • “The SHERIFF agrees to provide for the basic routine health care needs of the Detention Center inmates, with all health care personnel responsible for dispensing medical services to inmates meeting all necessary certification and licensing requirements required by law.”
  • “The SHERIFF also agrees to maintain sufficient first aid supplies and equipment necessary to support the overall basic routine medical treatment of the Detention Center inmates, which first aid supplies and equipment shall be maintained in accordance with prescribed standards recognized or approved by a licensed recognized health authority which possesses the expertise to evaluate, assess and determine the potential need or conditions of the required first aid supplies and equipment.”
  • “The SHERIFF is authorized to contract with third party medical service providers for the purpose of providing non-routine medical services, such as emergency services, hospitalization, surgical, optical or dental services to the Detention Center inmates.”

The sheriff claims to have “special knowledge, expertise, and training” in jail operation.

  • “WHEREAS. the maintenance and operation of a parish detention center requires special knowledge, expertise and training in order to comply with the Louisiana Basic Jail Standards and various laws of this state regarding jails and prisons and the rules and regulations of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal, Louisiana State Health Department. and Louisiana Department of Corrections;”
  • “and WHEREAS, the SHERIFF has offered the knowledge, expertise and training capabilities of his office and staff in connection with the future maintenance and operations of the Lincoln Parish Detention Center.”

See here the complete document.

Last year, the Lincoln Parish Police Jury, the detention center commission, several unnamed deputies, and two nurses were sued for alleged negligence in the care of Demerious Jones, who was diabetic and serving a 60-day sentence in the jail.

At last week’s meeting of the jury, an executive session to discuss the matter was held that included an attorney and the jury’s insurance carrier.