Judge: Shackling Colo. inmate for 5 days was unreasonable search
The Associated Press
DENVER- Shackling an inmate to a chair for 5 1/2 days to collect evidence that he swallowed bags of drugs constitutes an unreasonable search, a Colorado judge has ruled.
Willert slept only about three hours while shackled, District Judge Charles M. Barton said in his July 14 ruling. He was repeatedly searched, monitored constantly, not allowed to lie down and not checked by medical personnel, the judge said.
"Forcing a shackled inmate to sit in a chair for over five days posed, in the court's opinion, an unreasonable risk to the life and health of the inmate," Barton wrote.
The incident occurred in June 2005 after a woman told prison authorities she had transferred four balloons containing drugs into Willert's mouth when she kissed him during a visit.
Willert had been released from prison before Barton's ruling but was arrested on charges of violating bail and attempted escape after he failed to appear at the hearing where the ruling was issued. He was also accused of trying to kick open a patrol car's door.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.