Suit: Mentally ill prisoner denied drugs, food
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.