Several cases involving deaths at Clayton Co. jail are in limbo, medical examiner says

The Clayton County Medical Examiner says several cases involving deaths at the jail are in limbo.

They say the sheriff’s office is refusing to release medical records.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln spoke with the family of a deceased inmate who says they can’t get closure.

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Trisha Singleton says she and other families of Clayton County inmates who’ve died in custody have unanswered questions regarding their loved ones’ deaths.

“We don’t have any reasons for why it happened,” Singleton said.

Singleton told Lincoln that her husband, 39-year-old Joseph Singleton, was found unresponsive last month in a jail transport van.

“He had stopped breathing and they hadn’t realized,” she said.

According to documents from Clayton County Superior Court, the county’s medical examiner has attempted for more than a year to get medical records of at least eight inmates who’ve died in custody.

“It makes it seem like they’re hiding something,” said Singleton.

The medical examiner’s office filed a petition for mandamus.

It’s an order commanding the sheriff’s office to provide medical records of the deceased inmates.

The petition claims Sheriff Levon Allen has failed to provide Medicaid records, booking forms, communications from the inmates’ messaging system, and incident and death reports.

“I just want people to know just because you’re not perfect doesn’t mean you don’t deserve justice,” Singleton said.

Channel 2 Action News reached out to the sheriff’s office for a statement but hasn’t received a response.

However, the sheriff denied all allegations in the office’s response to mandamus.

The document states the medical examiner’s office failed to set a justiciable case and asked the judge to dismiss the case.

In a statement to Channel 2 Action News, the director for Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office said, “Our office will not make any further direct comments on any pending litigation matters with Clayton County Sheriff Levon Allen or his Office at this time other than the statement below: For the loved ones of the deceased, it is our hope that this matter will be resolved as quickly as possible so that you can move forward in your grieving process and have some closure. To the citizens of Clayton County, we will always work to provide complete transparency you deserve for investigations that are under the jurisdiction of this office and as described under the Georgia Death Investigation Act.”

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A judge has been assigned to this case.

No hearing date has been set.

Joseph Singleton left behind six children.

His wife Trisha created a GoFundMe to help with expenses.

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