12/01/2000

Inmates' death from flesh-eating virus sparks investigations into jail conditions
[MOBILE, AL]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(MOBILE, Ala.) -- The death of a Mobile County Jail inmate whose body was found covered with ulcers, bruises and sores infected with a flesh eating virus has sparked three investigations into prison conditions.

The autopsy report shows that James Carpenter, 42, died of "infectious complications associated with restraint injuries of extremities." The Alabama Department of Forensic Science has ruled the death an accident, according to the Mobile Register.

Wounds that Carpenter suffered indicate that he had been rendered immobile for some time, according to the autopsy report.

"Obviously, at some point he was unable to get up, walk around and prevent bedsores," attorney Robert F. "Cowboy Bob" Clark, who represents Carpenter's ex-wife, told the Register. "They put him in a cell, locked him down and let him die."

Sheriff Jack Tillman acknowledged that jail personnel mistreated the prisoner, according to the Register.

Tillman, the FBI and District Attorney John Tyson have all announced separate investigations.

None of the agencies would comment on their findings while the investigations are ongoing, the newspaper said.

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