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December 16, 2004 - The Alexander City Outlook, The (AL)

Inmate Cries Foul In Coosa County

By Kelly Caldwell

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

According to his mother, Daniel Bryan Kelley will never be the same after spending a little more than two months in the Coosa County Jail.

"The damage that was done to Bryan can't be undone," Wanda Kelley said.

Citing abusive and harassing treatment which caused permanent physical injury as well mental and emotional injuries while in the Coosa County Jail, Bryan Kelley filed a claim against the Coosa County Commission Dec. 1.

"It is under investigation," Coosa County Sheriff Rickey Owen said. "There are always two sides to every story."

The claim states Kelley was denied adequate medical treatment and was subjected to inhumane and unfit living conditions, but no charges have been filed against the jail or the commission.

"I don't expect a jail to be a Holiday Inn but they should be treated like humans," Kelley's mother said.

Kelley committed second-degree assault in November of 2003 and was placed in the Coosa County Jail at Rockford Nov. 13.

"It was a fist fight and they set bond for $100,000," Kelley's mother said.

According to his mother, Kelley was put into solitary confinement for more than 40 days in the Rockford jail.

"The sheriff claimed it was for medical reasons," she said. "He said that the room was a medical treatment room."

According to the claim notice, the cell referred to as "the hole" did not have clean water for drinking and washing; it did not have a bed, and Kelley was forced to sleep on the floor next to the drain hole. It also did not have a toilet, and Kelley was forced to urinate and defecate in the drain hole next to where he slept.

"This has been very devastating," Kelley's father, Ray Kelley, said. "He is not an animal. We treated Saddam Hussein better than the Coosa County Jail treated my son."

Before being incarcerated, Kelley was diagnosed with a bi-polar disorder according to his mother and had to take certain medication. While in jail, his mother attempted to get her son's doctor to treat him.

"I tried to get them to take him to his doctor from day one," she said. "The doctor faxed a letter so he could treat him, but the people at the jail told us they had a jail doctor that would see him."

That jail doctor, according to Kelley's mother, prescribed Kelley with six different anti-psychotic drugs.

"I did my research on those drugs he was taking and they don't mix," she said. "I could see my son progressively getting worse."

According to the notice of claim served to the commission, Kelley did get worse.

"Day-by-day my son's condition became worse," his mother said. "He broke out in hives and had tingling sensations from head to toe."

His mother said Kelley was later hospitalized after slipping into a hepatic coma.

"I have documentation that Bryan was in ICU at Russell Medical Center," she said. "Dr. Law told us that Bryan's condition was critical and he had chemical toxic hepatitis."

The mistreatment did not stop with the medical problems according to Kelley's mother.

"We have inmate witnesses that are willing to tell how bad things are at the jail and I know this will continue until someone speaks up," she said. "I want to see this place straightened up so someone else's child will not have to go through this."

Coosa County's insurance company Meadowbrook ASI is investigating the case and according to Martha Mathews of the company, the claim has been received and the investigation will begin soon.

"We will be gathering the facts and information to make a recommendation to the county," she said. "We are investigating the merits of this claim."

Coosa County's attorney John Kelly Johnson did not return numerous phone calls from The Outlook regarding the claim.

The claim notice does not specify a monetary figure for damages but requests Kelley should be adequately compensated.

"It is so disgusting to see things that go on in the Coosa County Jail," Kelley's father said. "They liked to have killed my son and I think they ought to shut that jail down completely. It is not a jail it is a dungeon."

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