The Sheriff’s Office said the case is under investigation.
Wilson had a history of bipolar disorder with psychotic features and drug abuse, the report says. He had struggled with homelessness and served time at Augusta State Medical prison for assault and false imprisonment. His family says he was also diagnosed with schizophrenia.
On Dec. 20, Wilson was arrested for a probation violation after he was found, barefoot and hallucinating, in the road outside Wellstar Cobb Hospital from which he had recently been discharged. According to the police report of the incident, he told officers he was seeing spirits.
At the jail, Wilson continued to display abnormal behavior and was eventually transferred to solitary confinement in a padded cell. Deputies used a Taser on him twice when he allegedly rushed them.
The medical examiner, Christopher Gulledge, reviewed video of Wilson in his cell and wrote that he was given appropriate amounts of food and beverage, but that he did not drink enough. Gulledge wrote that impaired thirst has been reported in some mental illnesses, determining Wilson died of “dehydration due to bipolar disorder.”
“During the period of time reviewed on camera, the decedent’s activity level slowly and gradually diminished,” Gulledge wrote. “He transitioned from being very active to more sluggish. However, he did not show significant signs of distress that would be easily interpreted to indicate the need for medical attention.”
Wilson was last seen moving by guards in the early hours of Dec. 29, according to the medical examiner’s investigative report.
“At that time, he was unclothed lying on the floor in feces and would move around some, but would not look up when the glass was tapped,” the report reads. Fifteen minutes later, Wilson was found unresponsive and later declared dead.
Weatherby, the attorney, said even though the medical examiner’s report listed the death as natural, that does not mean it wasn’t wrongful.
“We’re going to contact an expert in mental health care in jails and confirm what is our suspicion that this falls well below the standard of care,” he said. “It’s natural because he died of dehydration, which is a natural cause, but whether he should have died of dehydration is another kettle of fish.”