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Cause Still Unknown in Jail Death of Indiana Inmate

Jason Reese

Noble County Jail Inmate Death Under Investigation

Indiana State Police officers from the Fort Wayne District are currently investigating the unexpected death of a 23-year-old inmate of the Noble County Jail. According to police reports, Markus Neal Middleton of Albion, was found unconscious and unresponsive in his cell by confinement officers conducting routine evening cell checks. Several officers say they entered the cell and began to perform CPR while waiting for emergency services to arrive. Noble County EMS soon arrived and continued several failed attempts to revive Middleton. Sadly, the inmate was eventually pronounced dead. The Noble County Sheriff’s Department requested a detective from the Indiana State Police to spearhead an investigation. Middleton, who had been incarcerated since Sept. 11, 2017, was the only inmate in the cell. At this time foul play is not suspected. We will do our best to update readers as new details are released.

Understanding Inmate Death

Whether an inmate’s death was the result of a tragic accident, sickness, natural causes – or in some extreme cases inadequate or insufficient health care, abuse or mistreatment – the families of lost inmates are left to suffer in their absence and deserve a full investigation to find answers. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in the past decade, over 10,000 inmates have lost their lives in both city and county jails. Other related facts and statistics include:

  • Men are eight times more likely to die while in the custody of a local jail.
  • The bulk of inmate deaths are attributed to illnesses, such as heart disease or cancer.
  • Mortality rates for female inmates experiencing an illness are much higher than for male inmates.

Correctional facilities have a duty to their inmates to ensure the safety of those in their charge and may be guilty of wrongdoing or negligence in many jail or prison death cases. Individuals being held at jails may be experiencing punishment for a wrongdoing, but they still have the right to be cared for in appropriate ways, including being provided access to appropriate and timely medical attention for illness, injury, or physical or mental state.

When A Jail Death Is A Violation of Civil Rights

In Indiana, there is a statutory cap of $700,000 on damages for negligence cases against government agencies or actors. However, many police brutality and jail death cases involve violations of federal civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983. There is no cap on damages in federal civil rights cases, and attorney fees can be recovered from the defendant. Our attorneys understand the complexities of federal civil rights litigation and know how to plead a case so your claim is not limited by the state tort claims cap.

Wagner Reese has handled numerous wrongful death and jail death cases in our years of service to Indiana citizens. If your loved one has suffered injury or death in an Indiana jail, the wrongful death attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in recovering financial damages for the losses you have sustained. Give us a call at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation.


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