My son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at the age of 24. Over the next few years, he went on and off his meds and in and out of treatment. On January 2, 2004, he called 911 and asked for the FBI. The dispatcher told him she could not send the FBI but she would send police officers. He called back and requested that police should not come because he would not know the real ones from the fakes. When two officers pulled into my driveway, he killed them with an assault rifle through my front window.
My son spent the next 14 months in the drunk tank of a jail built in early 1960's in semi-solitary. When a new jail was built in 2005, he was placed in a cell block with other inmates. He had been on meds and the new jail gave him a safe place. He was taken on two day trips to our state hospital for examination by a psychiatrist. His family was also interviewed by this doctor and his diagnosis was paranoid schizophrenia. Same diagnosis as at least three other phychiatrists and multiple other mental health professionals.
He was sent back to this hospital for three months to determine if he was competent to stand trial. The original doctor from this hospital that was assigned to his case was taken off and a new one was assigned. He was sent back to jail with a diagnosis of Psychotic Not Otherwise Specified and was taken off his meds. Back in jail and off his meds, he went downhill. The DA offered him a plea bargain for life without possibility of parole (LWOP) and he accepted.
Days after my son arrived at prison, I heard on the local news that he was in ICU because he had been beaten by guards. When I got to Montgomery to see him, he was comotose, on life support, footcuffed to the bed and was being watched by two prison guards. He'd been beaten, but that was not the reason he was on life support. Prison staff recognized his serious mental illness (SMI) and gave him psychotropic drugs with heat warnings. Then they put him in a cell with no air circulation when temps outside were 108 degrees. He died from neuroleptic malignant syndrome .
Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a life threatening neurological disorder caused by an adverse reaction to neuroleptic or antipsychotic drugs. When these drugs are given and the person is in heat conditions, the chances of NMS increase.
We won an open records law suit that forced the Department of Corrections (DOC) to release their records on my son's death and made Alabama government more accountable. We also won a wrongful death lawsuit against the DOC.