Inmate Tomibella Kartchner, 28, Died In Custody At John Latorracs Correctional Center In Merced

MERCED, CALIFORNIA (November 25, 2023) – A man identified as Tomibella Kartchner has tragically died while in custody at the John Latorracs Correctional Center in Merced.

Merced County officials are saying that the incident began on Thursday night. Correctional officers noticed that Tomibella Kartchner was unresponsive in his jail cell.

Jail medical staff began life-saving measures. First responders were also called to the scene in order to help, but efforts to revive Tomibella Kartchner were not successful.

He was later pronounced dead at the jail. A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Merced County Inmate Deaths

Inmate deaths remain all too common across the United States. Many people who die in custody never get to have their day in court. According to Reuters, “Death rates have soared in those lockups, rising 35% over the decade ending last year. Casualties like Hill are typical: held on minor charges and dying without ever getting their day in court. At least two-thirds of the dead inmates identified by Reuters, 4,998 people, were never convicted of the charges on which they were being held.” Inmates are subjected to a wide range of abuses which could contribute to their death.

  • Inmates are often denied adequate medical care for their needs.
  • Inmates are often beaten by prison guards and at the hands of other inmates.
  • Inmates may not get the psychological care that they need.

All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with reasonably adequate care for their conditions. This begins with a thorough health screening and it continues with regular health checkups and welfare checks. Typically, inmates should be checked on every 30 minutes or so. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any inmate death.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • Jail records related to the death should be examined.

Jails are supposed to be doing everything in their power to keep the inmates in their care safe. But far too often this is not the case. By the time a jail finds an inmate unresponsive, there were often numerous failings that may have contributed to their death. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.


Investigating Deaths At The John Latorracs Correctional Center In Merced

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our  deepest condolences to the family of Tomibella Kartchner. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of this man’s family.

Do you need more information about a Merced County inmate death? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any in-custody death we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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