Charges in death of man ‘abandoned’ at Detroit-area jail

Wayne County Prosector Kym Worthy announces charges Monday, Oct. 1, 2018 in Detroit, against a police officer and two paramedics who have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a man who suffered convulsions in a suburban Detroit jail but wasn't taken to a hospital. (David Guralnick/Detroit News via AP)

DETROIT (AP) — A police officer and two paramedics failed to help a man who was convulsing for more than an hour and eventually died from cocaine toxicity at a Detroit-area jail, a prosecutor said Monday as she filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the trio.

William Marshall was in custody for drug possession when he died in the Westland police lock-up in December. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said a state police investigation showed an “inexcusable and criminal disregard for human life from those who have a duty to serve him, protect him and render aid.”

She said video of the incident was a “critical part of the evidence.”

Involuntary manslaughter charges were filed against police Sgt. Ronald Buckley and paramedics Matt Dicosola and Leah Maynard. The three didn’t immediately appear in court Monday, and it was unclear whether they had lawyers who could respond to the allegations.

The paramedics told Buckley they could take Marshall to a hospital but the sergeant waved them off, Worthy said. Nonetheless, she added, that doesn’t clear them of wrongdoing.

“The paramedics still have a duty to render aid and assistance,” the prosecutor said. “They abandoned him, according to the facts of our investigation. … They are criminally responsible.”

Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik said Buckley has been suspended from the department, and Dicosola and Maynard no longer work for Westland.

“I again want to offer my sincere apology to the William Marshall family for their loss,” Jedrusik said in a written statement. “The department has provided additional training to its employees and will continue to do so to ensure that something like this never happens again.”

The city in May agreed to a $3.75 million settlement with Marshall’s family, with much of the money coming from insurance coverage.

Separately, Worthy said no charges would be filed in the fentanyl-related death of a man at an Ecorse police lock-up in June 2017. She said that although Ecorse officers should have noticed that Frank Porter wasn’t moving in his cell, the delay did not contribute to his death.

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