Court magistrates from Santa Clara County, Northern California, have decided to grant Tyree’s family a settlement of $3.6 million for civil rights violation and wrongful death. Tyree’s sisters sued the county after their brother was found dead in his cell.
Michael Tyree, a 31-years old male from Santa Clara County, was serving a five-day sentence for drug possession and misdemeanor theft. The man was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had to be imprisoned in a wing specially designed for inmates with special needs.
On the night of his death, Tyree, the bipolar inmate was just going out to get his medication. According to the court’s documents, instead of ingesting his medication, the man placed them in his pockets.
Jereh Lubrin, one of the correctional officers, working at the prison, saw Tyree taking the pills and confronted the man. Later that evening, Lubrin returned with two of his colleagues, Matthew Ferris and Rafael Rodriguez, to confront Tyree one last time.
According to the court documents, while Rodriguez was guarding the door to Tyree’s cell, Lubrin and Ferris began to beat the man. Some of the inmates heard Tyree’s desperate cries for help, and declared that the man screamed for hours at an end.
The next day, the authorities discovered Tyree’s lifeless body on the cell’s floor. According to their testimonies, Tyree was naked, and he was covered in human feces and vomit. The autopsy revealed that the man died due to massive internal bleeding.
In addition, the coroner who performed the autopsy said that the man’s injuries were so severe, that almost all of his organs were damaged beyond repair. The investigation has revealed that the bipolar inmate was beaten for more than four hours in his cell before dying.
Matthew Ferris, Jereh Lubrin, and Rafael Rodriguez, the three correctional officers who have beaten the bipolar inmate to his death were charged with first-degree murder and will be trialed in January 2017.
Pending the trial of the three murderers, Santa Clara’s Court decided that the state must pay $3.6 million in reparations to Tyree’s family: two sisters and his 7-year-old daughter.
According to the court’s documents, Tyree’s imprisonment in the jail’s special needs wing was only temporary, and that the man was to be moved the next day to a psychiatric facility.
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