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Family lawsuit says Iowa jailer left inmate hanging from bedsheet

A central Iowa county has settled for $500,000 a lawsuit that says a man who died after tying a bedsheet around his neck was left hanging for 13 minutes while a jailer who discovered what happened stood outside.

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 10:25 AM

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa (AP) — A central Iowa county has settled for $500,000 a lawsuit that says a man who died after tying a bedsheet around his neck was left hanging for 13 minutes while a jailer who discovered what happened stood outside.

The lawsuit filed against Grundy County by relatives of 26-year-old Jared Slinker says any chance for lifesaving efforts was delayed because the county staffed just one employee to work as both communications dispatcher and jail supervisor. The lawsuit filed after the January 2016 incident says safety rules prohibited the employee from entering Slinker's cell until another employee arrived.

The Des Moines Register reports that family members say they told jail staff about his suicidal behavior, but he was booked into jail as a general inmate — no suicide watch.

Grundy County Sheriff Rick Penning told the newspaper that no major changes have been made since the January 2016 death to the jail's staffing or intake policies.

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