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SC Jail Employee Split Mentally Ill Man’s Head Open In Incident, Lawsuit Says

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The mother of a mentally-ill Bamberg County, South Carolina man is suing after her son was severely injured by a Bamberg County Detention Center employee, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

Angela Middleton, the mother of Tieresias Ephram, filed the lawsuit against Bamberg County, South Carolina on March 12. Ephram suffers from chronic mental health disorders including schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychosis, delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. 

On March 15, 2019, Ephram was in jail at the Bamberg County Detention Center after he was charged with shoplifting. Jail employees placed Ephram in handcuffs as they removed him from his cell, according to the lawsuit.

Ephram, suffering from a schizophrenic episode, didn’t want to re-enter the cell, the lawsuit said.

Bamberg County Detention Center employee Issac Jackson then used excessive force in an attempt to move Ephram back to his cell, the lawsuit said.

Jackson threw Ephram, who was still handcuffed, headfirst into a window and then into a cell door, the lawsuit said.

Ephram’s head was split open and he was transported to the hospital, the lawsuit said.

Surveillance video recorded the entire incident.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agents later investigated the incident and concluded that Jackson used excessive force. He was charged with misconduct in office.

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Days after the incident, a judge ruled that Ephram was mentally incompetent and unable to stand trial, according to the lawsuit.

Rep. Justin Bamberg is representing Middleton in the lawsuit. While Justin Bamberg’s father Kenneth Bamberg is the now the Bamberg County Sheriff, the Bamberg County Detention Center is run by Bamberg County (which means there is not a conflict of interest in this case).

“The Detention Center employees knew that Mr. Ephram was a vulnerable citizen suffering from longstanding and severe mental-health diseases. He was fully restrained, handcuffed, and defenseless,” Justin Bamberg said. “When this young man needed treatment, help, and understanding, he instead had his head split open because someone grew tired of his disease.”

Middleton is suing for gross negligence, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violations of the South Carolina State Constitution.

“America means nothing without our civil rights as citizens,” Justin Bamberg said.”Violating those rights will never be OK, and it will absolutely never be tolerated around here as far as I am concerned. We are better than this.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR..

Mandy Matney

Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].

Mandy Matney

*****

ABOUT THE AUTHOR..

Mandy Matney

Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].

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