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Prosecutor clears jailers in inmate's death

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WILMINGTON (AP) -- The Brunswick County district attorney says jailers acted properly when they subdued an obese man who then suffocated and died earlier this year. District Attorney Rex Gore said evidence from a State Bureau of Investigation report and a videotape of the incident does not indicate any misconduct by jailers in the death of Senaca Vaught. The Star-News of Wilmington reported Wednesday that Vaught died in jail on Jan. 23 from asphyxiation after he was pepper-sprayed and restrained face down on the concrete floor. The sheriff's office has said Vaught was kicking the door and head-butted officers when they opened his cell door. Vaught was in jail for assaulting his mother on Christmas Day. His family has hired an attorney and is looking into a possible wrongful death claim. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Accountable!

When are people going to start holding themselves accountable for their own actions and decisions????? This family made the call to call 911 and have him arrested and caged like a dog instead of calling The Oaks or a mental facility if they really wanted to help! Now they want to blame everyone else except for themselves! They need to just chalk it up to a very bad decision and move on and let the healing process begin!

good job to the jailers.

good job to the jailers. the family was probably not taking proper care of him to start with so why not get paid in the process. they knew his condition and did nothing about it. i bet if he hurt one of them it would be a different tune.

Who are you to Judge Me????

Who are you to Judge Me JAJ????? You didn't use your REAL name either! Who cares about that! Grow up and get a life! It's a comment blog; does it really matter! All these people see is $$$$$$$$ when they should have been worried about their son and knowing he wasn't taking his medication; it says in the paper (Star News) that he had refused to take his required meds. Why did the family not intervene and step in and either take him home bond him out or make the Behavioral Treatment appointment sooner. If it was my son or daughter they would have maybe sat up at jail a day or two to be taught a lesson but not caged like an animal! What a lot of good that did! Now how convenient he dies and now they try to collect mega bucks! Sorry it doesn't work that way; they need to just move on and hold themselves somewhy accountable for what happened knowing his current situation and status. By the way too I am not huge but not little either but if someone especially a 600 pound man comes charging at me to beat me; you can best believe I will try my best to fight back too and save myself and that's what these officers did!

Involuntary commitment is

Involuntary commitment is the practice of using legal means or forms as part of a mental health law to commit a person to a mental hospital, insane asylum or psychiatric ward against their will or over their protests. Maybe this is what the family should have done to get him help and not called the law..

Back to the Important Point

Let's get back to the important point about this case. The judge ordered an immediate psychiatric examination for this person. Instead of that, somehow that became a request for a forensic evaluation - not considered an emergency procedure. That exam consists of only 3 simple questions. Yet that process could not be carried out between Dec. 25th and Jan. 23rd by Evergreen Behavioral Services, which I believe, is right across the road from the jail? How did this get misinterpreted and why did this process take so long that it resulted in a death before it could be completed? That is really what should be on discussion here, not what the family should or should not have done or be doing. It seems to me that the there are several problems within the big one. The emergency personnel speaking here have shed light on one problem - some jail personnel evidently like using pepper spray. They seem to speak from experience. Others on this board and elsewhere talk about sheriff's department employees who have done their best to do their jobs in an atmosphere that has been chaotic and stressful to say the least. The jailers handling Mr. Vaught at that time really didn't have a whole lot of reaction space in which to consider what to do, I don't imagine. Those who use pepper spray when not needed make those who use it when needed look bad. The problem is, why was the prisoner still where he was under the circumstances? Why wasn't the problem handled faster? That is what any family would want to know? I do know of a case where a man who shot someone in the back and killed them needed an mental exam to prove he was mentally incompetent so he wouldn't have to stand trial (which he didn't) and a state psychologist was sent to his house and examined him on the man's own front porch. Yet Vaught was held in a holding cell. What was the difference? The other man was related to Sheriff Hewett. It happened in 1998. This family DOES deserve some answers. So do a lot of other families. You nay-sayers need to back off.

Involuntary commitment

Involuntary commitment is the practice of using legal means or forms as part of a mental health law to commit a person to a mental hospital, insane asylum or psychiatric ward against their will or over their protests. Maybe the family should have gone this route to get him help and not have call the Law. They should be sued..

And what?

And what has that got to do with the processing of the judge's initial order?

To Born in Brunswick County

This inmate was not beaten instead THEY were the ones beaten! They both or one were taken to the hospital! If this family really wanted to help their son, uncle, cousin whoever why did they not insist that he was taken to a treatment facility for immediate help; he (Mr. Vaught) it says in the paper (Star News) he quit taking his meds! I am sure the family was notified and they did nothing now how convenient he dies and now they try to collect on his death! BRAVO! You need to re-read the whole story dear! The DA found no wrong doings and the State Bureau of Investigations!

This is so Sad...

This is so sad that this family is trying to make Rich mega bucks off their son,uncle,cousin's death! First of all I know if I ever hit my mother which I never would think of doing; she would maybe let me sit one or two days up in jail to teach me a lesson but would come and bail me out. Second of all I doubt she would have even done that knowing that I had a mental problem and put me in a home or something for HELP not jail and punishment! It's not like they JUST found out he was sick and had a mental problem which makes it very sad; but why wasn't he in treatment before all this had to happen????? I know in the papers it says he was in a home before and was sent home; why wasn't he transferred to referred to another home?????? Plus this man was obese and weighed over 600 pounds on top of that he attacked these officers that were trying to see what the problem was in his cell! I don't understand....well I guess us tax payers will end up paying this family a huge amount of settlement and no money in the world can or will ever bring him back....why not just drop it already! They were in the wrong also but just feel like I guess money is going to change everything!

Re: Let them grieve in any manner they desire!

What is even worse is that you would victimize this family even more with your ignorance and not even have the guts to put your real name! Ignorance like this doesn't need a platform!

I see you didn't use your

I see you didn't use your real name as well. As far as this incident goes, the SBI stated the tape showed the officers did no wrong. I don't see where this family has any gripes. The inmate is the one that assaulted the LEOs. The officers did what they had to do to control the situation. Its unfortnuate what happened, but I don't see why the family wants to play the police for their relatives actions

Until you know the "WHOLE

Until you know the "WHOLE TRUTH" you should not make accusations about this situation that you obviously do not know about. This family is not trying to make money, only justice for their son. This is not the first time that the jailers have "beat" someone there who was also suffering from mental problems, they did this to a female from Southport. Wake up people and find out about other incidents that have happened at the Brunswick Cty Jail. You would be surprised!!!!!!!

You can take THIS to the bank

If someone assaults me, whether they have "mental problems" or not, I am going to do everything I can to defend myself. No one in the world should be expected to suffer injury or death because their attacker is mentally ill. The SBI investigation confirmed that the jailers did nothing wrong. The DA states that he has no grounds for indictment. If the family wasn't in this simply for the money, they'd do the honorable thing and drop the lawsuit. The truth can be painful, but it's still the truth.

ITS SO SAD THAT ALL PEOPLE

ITS SO SAD THAT ALL PEOPLE SEE THESE DAYS IS A "LAW SUIT"

PEPPER SPRAY

BRUNSWICK COUNTY EMS WHICH WAS NEXT DOOR TO THE JAIL WAS DISPATCHED MANY TIMES FOR PEPPER SPRAY INCIDENTS. TO CYA OF THE SPRAYER.LOOK UP THE EMS DISPATCH RECORDS.THIS IS A COMMON PRACTICE TO INTIMIDATE INMATES AND FOR THEM TO GET THEIR ROCKS OFF ABUSING THEM. I AGREE SOME PRISONERS NEED IT FOR CONTROL BUT, WHEN I WORKED EMS -WE WENT OVER THERE A LOT TO WASH INMATES EYES,GROIN AREA-ECT-ALSO TO TRAFFIC STOPS, HOMES... CHECK OUT THEIR ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PURCHASE ORDERS ON PEPPER SPRAY AND DISPATCH RECORDS

You work EMS????

You obviously have no clue what you are talking about. What proof do you have that it is "common practice" to intimidate inmates? And if you work EMS as you say you do, you would know that it is police to call EMS anytime someone is having difficulty breathing after being pepper sprayed. I would love to know how you can say officer intimidate inmates if you are never there and always show up after the fact.