Thomas Lee Rutledge baked to death in an Alabama prison in December 2020 caused of the negligent actions of prison staff.
The Alabama Inmate who Baked to Death
An Alabama inmate died due to a sweltering prison cell described as “hotter than three hells,” the inmate’s family alleged in a federal wrongful death lawsuit.
According to a lawsuit filed by his sister in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Alabama, In the mental health ward, the 44-year-old Thomas Lee Rutledge died of hyperthermia on Dec. 7, 2020, at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama.
in the mental health ward at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer, Alabama.
Rutledge was found lifelessly with a body temperature of 109 degrees in a cell reported to be between 101 to 104 degrees, stated in the suit, citing the Jefferson County Coroner’s report. Nov. 30 was an amended complaint filed accusing prison staff, wardens, and contractors. defendants in the lawsuit defendants in the lawsuit who worked on the heating and boiler system at the facility of “deliberate indifference and malice” in his death.
Before death inmates had complained about extreme temperatures but were ignored and instead forced to stay in their rooms ‘around the clock, including for eating and bathing.
Investigators Went to Check The Alabama Prison
Clark Hopper, an investigator on site when Rutledge died, said he went to the inmate’s cell to chat with him around 8 pm – but when he opened the meal door, it was like ‘opening an oven’ hopper told MialOnline News.
After hearing from another prisoner that Rutledge was unresponding hopper had gone to check on him. In 2019 and 2020 facility had new air conditioning systems installed by P&M Mechanical. During the death, of Rutledge, he was taking medication that could have increased the chances of him getting sick from the heat. Moreover, officers were supposed to check to make sure that temperatures in the T Unit didn’t rise above 85 degrees, but failed to do so on the day Rutledge died in the 104-degree heat.