ORIENT — Following the Feb. 6 death of inmate Michael McDaniel, 55, Pickaway County Prosecutor Judy Wolford has declined the case, denying charges being brought to staff or nurses.
According to a July article reported by The Herald, the report provided by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction stated McDaniel was vulgar toward two officers at the facility who then removed him from his cell for a random cell check.
According to security footage released by the agency in July, McDaniel was shown being both taken down by prison guards and collapsing on his own at least 16 times before he died at the Correctional Reception Center.
In a previous interview with media, Annette Chambers-Smith, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director, stated she was appalled.
“That’s not what we train people to do, it’s not what policy says, but it’s what happened,” she stated in the July conference.
Wolford was previously given everything provided by the Ohio Department of Corrections for any potential criminal charges.
The report listed six different use-of-force incidents and five of the six were declared excessive and not justified.
In the first use-of-force incident, the original scuffle, use of force was not excessive and justified, however, it was determined that the actions of the officers went against ODRC policy by removing McDaniel from his cell for a cell inspection during a recreation period and while he was belligerent.
The report concluded that officers Jerry Perkins, Jason Roberts, Heath Causey, Sarah Cline, Kristy Judd and Joey Lemaster, as well as Lt. Bruce Brown and LPN Jaime Dukes should face further disciplinary action and that no further action would be taken on nurse Vera Pokuaa and officer Paul Edwards since both had resigned their posts.
Wolford stated she will not bring criminal charges against prison staff involved in the beating death of McDaniel.
“We declined the case,” she said. “I was unable to find intent on the part of any corrections officers or nurses.”
The incident was reported to the Ohio Board of Nursing because of the care McDaniel received at the facility
Chambers-Smith previously stated the nurse who cared for McDaniel, after he passed away, filled out a document that he was refusing medical care and they believed that was a false document and that’s why the nursing board was involved and why that nurse would have been put on administrative leave, but she no longer worked at the Correctional Reception Center.
Wolford said she looked into the nurses who were involved in the particular case, as well as a number of correctional officers who went with McDaniel to the med bay.