Teen Dies of Gangrene in Jail

According to three lawsuits filed in federal court, jailers in Madison County, Alabama watched several inmates die rather than provide basic medical care, including to a 19-year-old boy who was killed by gangrene and found naked on his cell floor. Each of the three lawsuits claims that Madison County jails withhold medical care in order to save money. Deundre Woods, the 19-year-old who died of gangrene, was arrested for shoplifting Star Wars DVDs at a Wal-Mart and for passing a phony $100 bill last year. He was then sent to jail where a wound in his foot became infected. The suit alleges that Woods suffered a “severe and sudden change in mental functioning," began hallucinating, and was no longer able to communicate. Guards placed him in a medical cell, where the complaint says he had no access to water after Aug. 12. There is also no record of him eating or receiving care from nurses after Aug. 14. When his rotting foot began to smell, guards dragged him from his cell, sprayed him down with water and put him in a new cell, according to the suit. The other two suits refer to the cases of Tanisha Jefferson, who was jailed for harassment and died of constipation after being denied medical care for 13 days, and 61-year-old Nikki Listau, booked for harassing communications, who died of a broken femur after she fell out of her bunk.