The family of a woman who hanged herself in prison with her bra after guards allegedly hedged bets on her becoming suicidal has been awarded $860,000 as part of a lawsuit settlement.
Janika Edmond, 25, died in hospital several days after she used her bra to hang herself in the shower at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Michigan in 2015.
Prior to her death, Edmond had spoken of wanting to kill herself and asked prison guards for a suicide prevention vest.
Guards had allegedly made bets on whether Edmond would ask for the vest.
One guard, Diana Callahan, was allegedly caught on video pumping her fist in the air saying ‘somebody owes me lunch’ in an apparent response to Edmond’s request.
Surveillance video taken inside the prison also showed that guards failed to immediately respond to Edmond despite audible choking sounds being heard.
Callahan was later charged in Edmond’s death and was sentenced in December last year to six months in prison and two years probation for involuntary manslaughter.
She was also fired following the incident.
The Michigan Department of Corrections last week agreed to pay Edmond’s family $860,000 to settle a lawsuit brought against them over her death.
Edmond’s two half brothers, Jacob Christopher Edmond and Cazz Vinson Jr., will receive about $275,000 each from the settlement.
The two Detroit law firms who brought the case will be given $142,000 each.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland approved the settlement last week.
Edmond’s family filed the lawsuit back in 2017 claiming the corrections department tried to cover up the alleged misconduct in the prisoner’s death.
She was in prison at the time of her death for violating probation and subsequently assaulting a guard.
Edmond was sentenced in 2011 to five years probation for assault with a dangerous weapon.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – Emily Crane