ADULT IN-CUSTODY DEATH SETTLEMENT
Lincoln County has agreed to pay $850,000 to the family of a jail inmate who successfully hung himself in his jail cell in October of 2018. Corrections Deputies discovered Joshua Parker Gilleo of Depoe Bay unconscious and hanging from a bedsheet that he attached to a light fixture in his single occupant cell. Corrections Deputies immediately began CPR, administered an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in an attempt to restore heart-beat, and called medics. But personnel were unable to revive him. Mr. Gilleo was pronounced deceased a short while later by arriving paramedics.
The Newport Police Department along with the District Attorney’s Office completed a death investigation and determined that Mr. Gilleo committed suicide. An internal After Action Review was completed and determined that deputies responded within policy, procedures, and best practices.
Mr. Gilleo’s estate filed a tort claim against the County as a result of the suicide death while he was in the County’s custody. Lincoln County’s insurance carrier (City County Insurance Services-CIS) has agreed to pay $850,000 pending court approval for settlement to the family of Mr. Gilleo and their attorney. Mr. Gilleo had been lodged at the jail on criminal charges.
Mr. Gilleo was arrested on October 22, 2018 for Violation of Restraining Order (3 counts), Unlawful Use of a Weapon, endangering a Person Protected by a Family Prevention Act, Carry Concealed Firearm, Domestic Menacing, and his previous release agreement was revoked. Between October 16, 2018 and Mr. Gilleo’s arrest on October 22, 2018, he was arrested 4 times on related domestic violence charges. He had been released on bail for the two previous arrests a short time after he was taken into custody, but bail was not posted for him as a result of the October 22, 2018 arrest and remained in custody.
As part of the intake process for all individuals booked into the Lincoln County Jail, a series of demographic, medical and mental health/wellness questions were asked. The information was forwarded to the Jail’s Mental Health Counselors who review and follow-up with the individual as needed.
This was a very tragic and unfortunate event for the family as well as the Corrections Deputies and Corrections Medical Staff involved and will have a lasting impact on everyone. Even when policies and procedures are followed, knowing that someone made the personal decision to end their life can be mentally and physically challenging to those tasked with ensuring the safety and security of our facility and adults in custody.
Our sincere condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Gilleo. Although the Sheriff’s office maintains the staff’s actions involving Mr. Gilleo while he was at the jail were appropriate and met the applicable standards of care, because of the costs and uncertainty of litigation, and on the advice of the County’s insurance carrier, the decision was made to resolve the matter if it could be done for an agreeable amount of money. The $850,000 settlement allows the family and Sheriff’s office personnel to avoid the emotional and time-consuming process of litigation. In settling the case the County admits to no wrongdoing.