What they don’t tell you in these articles is that every year many jail suicides go unreported, because the prisons cover them up and even lie about cause of death – “natural causes”!  I remind you that I have SEEN what goes on.

I also I can tell you that I have seen many promises like this go ignored!  They never do it.: “We are even more grateful that the board has publicly announced its intention to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure that our jails live up to their obligation to safeguard those placed into the custody and care of the sheriff,” he said.

Also, being on “suicide watch” probably would not have saved him. Guards are supposed to check on each one every 15 or 20 minutes, but they just sleep through their 8 hour shift and awaken to check off the boxes saying they did – when they did NOT. Again, I have SEEN it.

Excerpts from the Article:

San Diego County officials agreed Wednesday to pay nearly $3 million to the family of Heron Moriarty, an East County man who killed himself in jail despite dozens of phone calls from his frantic wife warning sheriff’s deputies that he was suicidal.

The $2,950,000 settlement is the largest payment approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in a wrongful death case involving a jail suicide, a lawyer in the case said.

Attorney Christopher Morris, who represented the Moriarty family, said he was grateful that the county supervisors recognized the historical problem of people dying in the county jail system and agreed to resolve the case.

“We are even more grateful that the board has publicly announced its intention to dedicate the resources necessary to ensure that our jails live up to their obligation to safeguard those placed into the custody and care of the sheriff,” he said.

The multimillion-dollar award was approved during a closed-door meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The decision resolves a lawsuit that has languished in U.S. District Court in San Diego for more than four years.

The agreement pushes the total amount of money paid by taxpayers to resolve injury and wrongful-death lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Department past $20 million in recent years.

Moriarty, who was 43 when he died, was an electrical contractor when he suffered a psychotic break in 2016. He was hospitalized multiple times and diagnosed with psychosis, bipolar disorder and mania.

Deputies were summoned after Moriarty threw a table through a sliding-glass door to his brother’s home in Jamul. He ended up at the Vista jail, where his wife, Michelle, called at least 30 times over the next few days warning that her husband was suicidal.

“I would sit on the phone for half an hour,” she told The San Diego Union-Tribune in a previous interview. “But they’re like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re taking care of him.’ They said he’s in good hands.”

But Moriarty was able to wrap a T-shirt around his neck and stuff another shirt inside his mouth, court records showed. He suffocated and was found unresponsive in his cell on May 31, 2016.

Moriarty was not placed on suicide watch or treated for his mental illness, according to the civil lawsuit Morris filed.

Weeks before his arrest and incarceration, Moriarty had been a mentally fit business owner and devout family man.

When he died, he left his wife and three young children behind.

The case was upended a year ago when a Sheriff’s Department records clerk came forward to say she urged a jail sergeant to place Moriarty on suicide watch but her pleas were ignored.

The witness, records clerk Jeanette Werner, also said she was threatened with retaliation if she spoke about her experience. She had approached Morris in July 2020 about the sheriff’s handling of COVID-19 inside county jails, and the Moriarty case came up by happenstance.

“During Mr. Moriarty’s detainment, Mr. Moriarty could be heard howling throughout the department for at least two days,” Werner said in sworn testimony. “He sounded like a wounded animal crying for help.”

Court records also include screenshots of a text-message conversation between a nurse practitioner and a deputy who were part of the jail’s psychiatric team indicating that the sergeant had overruled medical staff’s recommendations.

“Moriarty just killed himself,” the deputy texted close to midnight on May 31. “I heard you had recommended safety cell but we’re [sic] overruled.”

“Yes,” the nurse responded. “I asked but sergeant said no.”

“This was Nishimoto all over again,” a text read, referring to the 2015 suicide death of Jason Nishimoto, whose family sued and was awarded a $595,000 settlement by the county in 2019.

“Yea, this one is gonna cost the county,” the deputy wrote.

The cost of legal complaints against Sheriff’s Department employees has been escalating since 2009. .

Earlier this year, the California Supreme Court upheld a $6.4 million award to David Collins, who suffered a brain bleed after falling twice inside the Vista jail. Collins had been arrested on suspicion of being under the influence but was actually suffering from a viral infection and a near-lethal sodium deficiency.

Last year, the Board of Supervisors agreed to pay $3.5 million to the family of Paul Silva, who also died in sheriff’s custody after being arrested. Silva’s mother had called 911 for help with a psychotic break, but he was booked into jail instead of being treated for mental illness.

And this past June, the county paid $1 million to the family of 26-year-old Ivan Ortiz, who suffocated himself with a plastic bag after being left unmonitored in a cell in the Central Jail’s psychiatric security unit.

The Whole Story