No criminal charges filed in two St. Louis County jail deaths

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CLAYTON, Mo. -  No criminal charges will be filed the deaths of two inmates at the St. Louis County Justice Center in February.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell calls the deaths tragic and troubling but he says the evidence does not rise to the level of issuing criminal charges.

One of the inmates who died this year was 29-year-old, John Shy. Shy died from Gastrointestinal Bleeding.

Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported a source indicated an internal investigation looked at whether a call button in the infirmary was intentionally disabled while Shy was in pain.

A few weeks later 20-year-old Lamar Catchings died due to what medical examiners say was undiagnosed Acute Leukemia.  In both cases, the deceased inmates showed alarming warning signs.

However, County Prosecutor Wesley Bell says Thursday, no criminal charges will be filed in either case and his office is compiling recommendations to make sure this doesn't happen again.

Bell said the investigations uncovered troubling systemic breakdowns in the jail. The problems included nurses in both cases not performing basic functions to treat patients. and the easy availability of drugs at the jail.

The St. Louis County Council’s Justice, Health and Welfare Committee held a hearing on Tuesday, April 16 to begin looking into operations at the St. Louis County Justice Center.

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