Court: Cobb sheriff must turn over records of death in custody

Reginald Wilson, 54, died of dehydration after more than a week at the Cobb jail (courtesy of the family of Reginald Wilson)
Reginald Wilson, 54, died of dehydration after more than a week at the Cobb jail (courtesy of the family of Reginald Wilson)

Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren has agreed to turn over records sought by the family of a mentally ill man who died in custody over a year ago, according to a consent order signed this week.

Reginald Wilson, 54, died of dehydration after nine days in the Cobb County jail, according to the medical examiner’s report.

His family has since filed a wrongful death suit against Warren and others involved in the man's care. The suit alleges that Wilson was never assessed by the jail psychiatrist during his nine-day incarceration, despite showing obvious signs of psychosis — smearing his own feces and failing to eat or drink.

Since then, the Sheriff’s Office has refused to release any information about his death to his next of kin, including pictures, videos or reports, according to court filings.

In January, Warren, who is being represented by the Cobb County Attorney’s Office, filed an emergency protective order to limit discovery, arguing that the family’s requests were overly broad and irrelevant because they have filed suit against Warren in his personal capacity.

The consent agreement, signed Tuesday, requires the Sheriff’s Office to turn over or state that it does not have a list of witnesses that can testify to jail practices; jail logs; documents on food and drink intake; policies and procedures for mental health care; recordings, photographs, and video of Wilson; and incident reports related to his incarceration and death.

Warren did not respond to a request for comment.

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