An Arab man is suing the Marshall County Sheriff's Office for $15 million, alleging his daughter died a wrongful death while an inmate at the Marshall County Jail.

In the suit filed late Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court, Robert Lee Carr Jr., father of the late Regina T. Carr, alleges Regina Carr was beaten nearly to death on March 15 while she was an inmate in the jail. At the time, she was facing second-degree manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of precursor chemical charges.

The suit seeks judgment on five counts, including violation of her constitutional rights, wrongful death, failure to provide necessary medical attention, failure to provide proper training and supervision of jail employees, and medical malpractice.

Shannon attorney Martin Weinberg represents the Carr family in the suit.

In requesting a jury trial, Robert Carr seeks $15 million in compensatory damages, exemplary damages, interest, and litigation and attorney's fees.

Robert Carr's suit names Marshall County Sheriff Scott Walls, Jail Warden Dewayne Bankson and Southern Health Partners Inc., the company providing medical care of jail inmates, as defendants.

Regina Carr was arrested on the charges March 7 and held in the jail under a $5,000 bond. The suit alleges that while incarcerated, she was badly beaten in the jail on March 15 and transported to Marshall Medical Center North before being transferred to Huntsville Hospital.

The suit goes on to allege that on March 17, Regina Carr exhibited no signs of brain activity while at Huntsville Hospital and her family chose to discontinue life support. She died that day.

Robert Carr alleges in his suit Regina Carr was denied proper medical care while in custody at the Marshall County Jail, including having a rescue inhaler and psychiatric medications withheld. Additionally, in the suit Robert Carr alleges his daughter was "mistreated and discriminated against" because she was a homosexual. Robert Carr goes on to allege the Sheriff's Office has a history of "demonstrating a policy of discrimination toward homosexual inmates."

The suit cites violations of Regina Carr's constitutional rights, including a "deliberate indifference toward the serious medical needs of Regina Carr" and "implementing a policy or custom of discriminatory treatment toward homosexuals."

"We are obviously disputing the medical findings made at that time," Weinberg said.

"Some of the facts are questionable in terms of how she died.

"I think the truth will come to light in terms of what exactly happened. Our hope is that with this suit, the truth will be told."

Walls disputed Weinberg's claims, saying inmate deaths are part of running a jail facility.

"When you have people in custody, it is not unusual to have inmate deaths," Walls said. "Often times, they have medical conditions and poor health and have not received proper medical care before they came to the jail.

"Our medical staff provided outstanding medical care in this case and in other cases.

"Unfortunately, she died. That is part of having a jail population."

In reports published at the time of Regina Carr's death, Carr was said to have been arrested with her boyfriend, William J. Dooley, 32, of Joppa. Dooley faced charges of manufacturing methamphetamines but was able to post bail, while Carr remained in jail.

Walls said at the time Carr has collapsed without prior sickness or other complaints while in jail and no foul play was indicated in her death.

Weinberg said the family disputes many of the facts surrounding Regina Carr's death.

"A lot of facts after some preliminary investigation were different than what had initially been reported," Weinberg said.

"This is just a tragedy. No one should be targeted based on their sexual preferences and improper medical care should not be tolerated."

(12) comments

wendys

"inmate deaths are part of running a jail facility"
Is that Sheriff really serious when he says that? Sounds like that comment alone is reason for an investigation into him and his staff. I hope someone from the outside comes in and looks at this. Sounds very fishy.

mfraz

Inmate deaths will happen especially when more than half are in there for something drug related. Those years of doing meth messed her up and she died. Boo hoo! Another meth head off the street for good. Sorry it has to be someones daughter or friend but they should have helped her sooner...not to mention the POS boyfriend that posted bail and was released. Sheriff Walls, the truth will come out and you will prevail!

bamanoles

I wonder why a homosexual female has a boyfriend!!

Clearly this is a report of the lawsuit and the information will obviously be one-sided. The sheriff's office can not and will not make specific comments on this case while litigation is pending.

Nobody should die while in custody.

JUSTREADIN

scott walls is a 1st rate POS i hope he ends up in the jail! [beam]

RKM

It is indeed sad when an individual dies while incarcerated. If neglect or bias or both were present then it is not only criminal, it is sinful. A person's sexual preference shouldn't be an issue where justice is concerned. Neglecting medical needs is shameful and cruel. My heart goes out to the Carr family; may God bless and keep you.

opinions_count

Wendy, I don't think the statement was meant to be as harsh as it sounded. When you have a large number of persons housed together the odds of a death of one of the many goes up. The obituaries are more now because of population growth in the last 100 years. Then you add in the foreign chemicals introduced into her body from the production and the consumption of meth and that increases the probability of an untimely death. I believe everyone should be treated fairly but she was arrested with her boyfriend, how did they know she was gay. Sounds like someone seeking a lot of money for poor decisions made by their loved one. I look forward to reading more about the case to make a more informed response.

Pete

As I read this, I can't help but wonder why an elected official would say death is "not unusal in a jail population". I did work as a deputy in the New Orleans Parish Prison, and death wasn't unuaual there. I can understand why someone who would proclaim themselves homosexual and yet have a "boyfriend", this is the "bible belt" after all. There should be a seperate area for those claiming homosexuality. If she collapsed and didn't complain after of any medical issues, they still should have set up a physical of some sort regardless. If anything to avoid anything like this happening. I would think that the sherriff would have at least addressed the issue of how another inmate, or inmates, had managed to beat her so badly she died of her injuries. It takes time to beat someone to death! Do we have so few people gaurding these people we can just sit and watch while they kill each other? I can understand his inability to talk about current litigating charges, but to say it was being looked into would have done.

I am not one to advocate criminal rights, and offer them all the luxeries possible, but they do have human rights, protected by the Constitution. Beating to death would be the very deffinition of cruel and unusual punishment. I do support the death penalty, but for drug charges? Most definitely not.

Bookr

What a moron this sheriff is. So what he is saying is its ok and normal for people to die in jail. Where in the law does it say that? Its ok for the sheriff to cover up somethng like an inmate death. Come on voters. Do something about this guy! He is a biger moron than mac holcomb n jim pickett!

Bookr

@justreadin. Im with you!

failuretocomply

My question is, who is providing the medical care, doctors or nurses? ARE NURSES USING PROTOCOLS AND WORKING AS PHYSICIAN EXTENDERS? WHAT ARE THE NURSING AND MEDICAL BOARD REGULATION REGULATIONS, AND WHO IS OVERSEEING THAT THEY ARE IN FORCE. I WOULD THINK SOMEONE WOULD BE CONCERNED IF NUSES ARE PRACTICING BEYOND THEIR SCOPE OF PRACTICE, JUST A THOUGHT. NURSES AND DOCTORS ARE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARDS IN AND OUT OF JAIL SETTINGS.

Lulaine2RDLegalFunding

This tragedy is one of many people suffer in jails all over the country. The issues is sensitive because you don't want to show exceptions especially when talking about the jail population. On the other hand people with illnesses should be given more leeway about certain things. Lawsuits like this develop because of people dying or getting seriously hurt because the prison is understaffed or does not show the right kind of concern. This will probably end up being settled.

http://www.legalfunding.com/solutions/fee_acceleration.cfm

Maxxy

That is traggic.I guess that the sheriff's office is sorry now.Maybe they should think about upgrading their services I mean they could definitely be better if they want to.I for example got one of those best allinone printers because I have a friend who told me that the job is done perfectly with those printers.

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