$20M wrongful death lawsuit filed for Michigan City inmate

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 7:02 PM EDT
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LAPORTE, Ind. (WNDU) - A lawsuit seeks $20 million in damages for the stabbing death of an inmate at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

The stated goal of the suit is to force real change in the prison system.

The suit claims that the facility was staffed at dangerously low levels at the time of the stabbing in October of 2021.

The stabbing victim was from South Bend. Juwan Jones was 25 years old at the time, serving a 30-year sentence for attempted murder.

Jones was stabbed by fellow inmate, Charles Johnson, with a sharpened metal object after an argument in Jones’ cell.

The wrongful death suit targets the prison’s alleged failure to get Jones timely medical attention.

“He bled out so much blood, that by the time he got to the hospital all of the available blood that they had at the hospital, they used to try to revive the life of Juwan Jones,” said Attorney Malik Shabazz. “13 liters of blood.”

The suit contends that the stabbing occurred at 2:50 p.m. and that prison staff arrived on scene at 3:11 p.m. Staff then called EMS at 3:18 p.m., and  EMS arrived at 3:23 p.m. The suit contends that Jones arrived at the hospital to start treatment at 3:49 p.m, nearly an hour after the stabbing took place.

“I never thought that, he was my baby, you know. Going to do his time as anyone should, that he wouldn’t be here with me today. This is very hard, very, very, hard to talk about,” said Robin Jones, the victim’s mother at a Monday afternoon news conference. “I just pray that there be justice for my son. Not only for him, but for those that have gone before him. You know that there be changes made, because no one should have to lose their life. you know. No one should be treated less than because they’re inmates. They’re still human.”

The suit was filed before the U.S. District Court for Northern Indiana in South Bend.