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Suit: Mentally ill prisoner denied drugs, food

2 years ago October 22, 2012 Oct 22, 2012 Monday, October 22 2012 Monday, October 22, 2012 3:09:34 PM CDT in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - A lawsuit accuses Tangipahoa Parish jail officials of routinely withholding prescription drugs and food from a prisoner for nearly two years while he suffered from severe mental illnesses.

A federal suit filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana claims 33-year-old Dennis Bargher Jr. lost nearly half his body weight and descended into hallucinations and delirium at the jail following his January 2009 arrest on a charge of carnal knowledge of a 15-year-old girl.

The suit accuses Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, a physician, a nurse and an assistant warden at the jail of violating Bargher's constitutional rights. It seeks unspecified damages.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's office didn't immediately return a call for comment.

Bargher is now serving an eight-year prison sentence at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center.

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