Woman sues Cahokia claiming disabled son was strangled to death by fellow inmate

Kelly Holleran Aug. 7, 2012, 12:39pm


The mother of a recently deceased man has filed suit against the village that housed her son in jail, alleging its workers failed to help her son while he was being strangled to death by a fellow inmate.

Caroyn Kidd claims her son, Timothy Johnson, who was born with cerebral palsy and required crutches to walk, was arrested and placed into a jail cell at the Village of Cahokia's police department on May 13. The jail cell was meant to hold two people, but instead contained three prisoners, according to the complaint filed July 25 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

While in the cell, one of Johnson's fellow inmates began suffering from an asthma attack, the suit states. Johnson began to call for help when the third inmate beat and strangled Johnson to death, the complaint says.

Johnson remained in the cell for about four hours before jail workers discovered his body, Kidd alleges.

Because of Johnson's death, Kidd claims she suffered grief, pain and suffering and lost her son's society. She also incurred medical, funeral and burial costs, according to the complaint.

She blames the Village of Cahokia for contributing to her son's death, saying it negligently placed him in a cell with a person charged with murder who was known to be mentally unstable, placed him and two other inmates in a two-person cell, failed to perform periodic jail cell checks, failed to provide a working camera inside the jail cell and allowed Johnson to remain deceased in the cell for about four hours without checking on him.

In her two-count complaint, Kidd is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs.

She is represented by Michael Glisson of Alton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-380.

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