The husband of an inmate found dead in her Harrison County Jail cell two years ago is suing Sheriff Tom McCool.
Meanwhile, a scheduling hearing will be held this summer in the wrongful death suit filed by the family of a troubled veteran who was fatally shot by a Harrison County deputy 16 months ago.
The federal lawsuit involving the jail alleges that a member of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office didn’t conduct wellness checks of the detox area where inmate Mary Ann Flanagan was being confined.
Flanagan, 47, of Marshall was found dead in her cell on March 18, 2017 — one day after Marshall police arrested her on a shoplifting charge, according to the lawsuit.
Police determined during the shoplifting investigation that Flanagan had used an illegal controlled substance before the incident. She was eventually taken to the Harrison County Jail and later placed in the jail’s book-in area, “an area with heavy deputy presence, heavy foot traffic and a clear line of vision to the various jail cells in the book-in area,” according to the suit.
Flanagan was later found dead in her cell after a pattern of conduct by members of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office in which wellness checks were not conducted, though the area in which Flanagan was being confined was designated as a detox area, the lawsuit alleged.
An autopsy determined that Flanagan’s cause of death was either the result of asphyxiation or because of multidrug toxicity, according to Chester Ray Flanagan, the woman’s husband who filed the lawsuit.
He is demanding damages of $2 million, alleging that workplace procedures were not followed by jail staff, leading to the loss of his spouse.
No hearings have been scheduled in the case.
Flanagan’s lawsuit is among at least two civil cases filed in federal court against the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.
Laveria Harper, a sister of Arther McAfee Jr., along with their sister Lorine McAfee, filed a suit in November against Harrison County and sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff McAndrews, who was cleared by a grand jury after he fatally shot the troubled veteran at McAfee’s home on Jan. 20, 2018.
Harper was listed as a representative for the estate of Arther McAfee Jr.
Obituary records show that Lorine McAfee died Jan. 25.
McAndrews, who was placed on administrative leave but later became an investigator for McCool, had gone to McAfee’s home on Curtis Black Road on a welfare check initiated by one of McAfee’s sisters, who had been trying unsuccessfully to reach him at his home northeast of Longview.
Lorine McAfee was present when McAndrews shot her 61-year-old brother after using a stun gun to bring him to the floor while trying to handcuff him, according to the lawsuit. It says the sister watched as McAndrews “unholstered his gun and placed it in McAfee’s chest at point-blank range and saw McAndrews fire two gunshots at McAfee.”
A scheduling conference in the case will be held July 1. McAndrews’ attorney, Robert Davis of Tyler, has filed a motion denying the allegations against his client.