CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The estate of a Crawford County inmate that died of an overdose last year is suing the county for negligence and violation of standards.
Jacob Allen Jones, 26, and his uncle, David Conrad Alverson, were involved in a traffic stop and arrested on Oct. 14, 2022.
A complaint filed in federal court by Catherine Jones, the mother of Jacob and the representative of his estate, says that the two were placed in the back of a police vehicle and were awaiting transport to the Crawford County Detention Center when Jones ingested a small baggie that Alverson had on him that was likely filled with methamphetamine.
Once they arrived at the jail they were processed and booked. The complaint says that Jones began exhibiting “clear symptoms of an overdose reaction,” including sweating and shaking, without medical attention from jail staff.
The complaint says that Jacob was in serious need of medical attention and had potentially been seizing for hours before a group of deputies found him unresponsive and foaming at the mouth.
Jail medical personnel was reportedly called for three times with no response. An ambulance eventually arrived and transported Jacob to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after.
The complaint claims that Jones was ignored by deputies multiple times, and that other inmates that tried to get help on his behalf were also ignored.
“Mr. Jones’ death was a direct result of negligence and/or direct indifference by Crawford County and their employees,” the suit says.
The lawsuit claims that because Jones was awaiting trial, he was entitled to the same constitutional protections as all other detainees under the 14th Amendment.
The complaint says that Jones’ estate is seeking to hold defendants liable for his pain, suffering and wrongful death.
Other defendants named in the suit include Cesar Galdamez, Jared Entrekin, James Okoniewski, Matthew Nowicki, Kristen Foss, Edith Espinoza, Nicholas Hicks and Jane Doe, who were all reportedly employees at the detention center at the time of the incident.
“Crawford County failed to reasonably train and supervise its staff to ensure they followed procedures such as walking through pods to check on inmates and making sure they are performing counts correctly. This also includes failing to train and supervise staff on how to realize when people need immediate medical attention and how to respond when an inmate needs immediate assistance,” the complaint said.
The plaintiff is demanding a jury trial and is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Jones’ legal team has not yet responded to request for comment. Crawford County denied commenting.