St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell will not file charges after two inmate deaths

He says the facts don't point to criminal activity.

Michael Calhoun
May 24, 2019 - 1:43 am
St. Louis Country Prosecutor Wesley Bell unveils "The Bell Plan."

(Kevin Killeen, KMOX)


CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) — St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell says the investigations are over -- and there'll be no criminal charges related to the deaths of two inmates at the County Justice Center this year.

Bell called the deaths of Lamar Catchings and John Shy "tragic" and "abhorrent" and, in a statement, sends his deepest sympathies to the families. But, in that same statement, says the facts don't point to criminal activity.

Tashonda Troupe lost her son, Lamar Catchings, in the jail in February. She claims conditions haven't changed in the jail since then.

"This guard has several complaints made against him for abuse, and Julian never got rid of him. Just took him out of the pod and placed him in the infirmary with sick and helpless inmates."

She continued.

"How many of you on this panel received an email from a former employee telling you about this guard and how he abused inmates. After you received this email, what did you do?"

KMOX took her concern to County Executive Sam Page.

"She must have something that I don't recall, but I'll certainly look at it. I think the concerns she expressed are real."

Page, who is a medical doctor, was asked if that helps him understand this issue better.

"I think I understand the vocabulary of the medical examiner's report, and the policies and procedures of the health department, a little better than most. And I would take that education and training into this conversation.

In the meantime, Bell says his office is compiling a list of recommendations for improvement.

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