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Old 07-29-2003, 02:58 AM
heureuse heureuse is offline

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Default Stun gun cited in state prisonerís death at Wallens Ridge

Associated Press 07/29/2003

WISE, Va. ó Repeated use of a stun gun may have led to the death three years ago of a Connecticut inmate at one of Virginiaís supermax prisons, according to a report by an outside doctor.

Dr. John Barnett was asked by Correctional Medical Services, a St. Louis-based company that provides health services for the Virginia Department of Corrections, to investigate the death of Larry Frazier at Wallens Ridge State Prison in Wise County.

Frazier, 50, of Bridgeport, was serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for rape at the time of his death. He was one of a number of prisoners being held in Virginia prisons under a state contract.

Barnettís report is not dated, but it describes a visit he made to the Wise County prison soon after Frazierís death. The confidential report was made public last week when it was filed in federal court among documents in a $204 million lawsuit brought by Frazierís family last year.

The family is suing Wallens Ridge prison officials, Correctional Medical Services and prison doctor Larry Howard.

According to the lawsuit, Frazier struggled with corrections officers, then went into diabetic shock and was hit with 50,000 volts of electricity from the stun gun as guards held him down.

Frazier was left alone, bleeding from the mouth, with his hands and feet strapped down, according to the lawsuit. He slipped into a coma and died five days later.

Barnettís conclusion that the stun gun played a role in Frazierís death directly contradicts an assertion by Ron Angelone, prisons director for the corrections department at the time of the incident, that the Ultron II stun gun had no part in Frazierís death.

Barnett could not be located for comment. A call to Correctional Medical Servicesí attorney in the case, John McChesney of Richmond, was referred to a company spokesman, who would not comment on the report.

Larry Traylor, spokesman for the Department of Corrections, declined to comment, citing the litigation. A spokesperson for Assistant Attorney General Mark Davis also said he would not comment on the report for the same reason.

Barnett criticized Wallens Ridge warden Stan Young, alleging that the warden wanted to have a doctor friend of his run the medical department at the prison.

"Whether this is related to his inability to get along with any of the several physicians who have worked at WRSP (Wallens Ridge State Prison) is not clear," Barnett wrote. "He has refused to provide access to patients and refused to provide a suitable place to examine them. The DOC (Department of Corrections) should consider his removal."

Barnett found a number of other problems during his investigation at the prison, according to the report. He concluded that medical professionals at the prison were routinely denied access to patients in need of care, which once resulted in the resignation of an unnamed medical director at the prison, according to the report.

Frazierís family already has been successful in one lawsuit connected to his death. Last year, Connecticut agreed to pay the family $1.1 million on their claim that because of his health problems, Frazier never should have been transferred to Virginia.
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Old 07-29-2003, 01:44 PM
freehold freehold is offline
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This just shows the sickness of the state government, they are boasting saving $11 million dollars by transfering inmates out of state, while being slapped w/ a law suit for $204 million dollars for said actions...
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