published Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Mother sues sheriff’s office over son’s jail death

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    Jason Logan, 30, was charged with burgalry, public intoxication and driving on a revoked license this week, according to arrest reports. He killed himself while he was in Hamilton County Jail Thursday, according to authorities.
    Contributed Photo

The mother of a man who hanged himself in the jail last year is suing the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for $300,000.

Suzanne Logan filed a wrongful death lawsuit May 4 in Circuit Court. The lawsuit alleges that jail staff failed to heed warnings that her son, Jason Logan, was a danger to himself.

The court documents describe how Logan, 30, used a frayed “flimsy blanket” torn into “noose-like strips,” tied it to the steel mesh ceiling above the cell’s toilet and hanged himself.

His body was found in the cell on May 5, 2011.

On Friday, exactly a year after Logan’s death, Kenneth Wayne Darr, 51, also committed suicide in the jail, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Hamilton County Attorney Rheubin Taylor declined to comment on pending litigation when reached by phone Wednesday.

Logan had been arrested two days earlier on charges of seat belt violation and driving on a revoked or suspended license, according to court documents.

His criminal history in Hamilton County shows at least 40 charges ranging from DUI to theft, domestic assault and robbery.

The lawsuit states that despite a social worker’s recommendation that Logan receive a medical review, drug withdrawal protocol and close observation, the inmate received none of those services.

Logan “threatened to kill himself or any cellmate if he was put into a cell with another inmate,” according to court documents.

But he was moved from a single cell to a shared cell 12 hours after he’d made those threats.

Fourteen hours after his transfer, he hanged himself, the suit states.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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