DETROIT — No federal charges will be filed in the death of a suburban Detroit jail inmate, officials said Monday, two years after the man suffered hallucinations and drug withdrawal while serving a sentence for careless driving.
David Stojcevski’s confinement was recorded on video at the Macomb County jail and is the subject of a pending civil lawsuit by his family. But the U.S. Attorney’s Office said it won’t pursue charges.
“After a thorough review of all the facts relating to this case, we have determined that the evidence does not support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution,” spokeswoman Gina Balaya said.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel were pleased with the conclusion.
“This was a very thorough investigation,” Hackel said of the FBI. “This is something that took months and they looked at every angle.”
Stojcevski, 32, died in the county jail in June 2014. The family’s lawyer, Harold Perakis, said he suffered serious withdrawals from drug use and died after serving 16 days of a 30-day sentence for a driving offense.
Hackel has defended the jail, saying deputies repeatedly checked Stojcevski and notified medical staff. He accused the family’s lawyers of trying to profit from the tragic death of a troubled man.
Wickersham said the jail now is sending more inmates to hospitals if they show signs of drug withdrawal, a costly step because deputies must guard them.
Perakis said the government’s decision not to pursue charges won’t affect the lawsuit. A civil case alleging violation of Stojcevski’s constitutional rights while in jail has a different legal standard than a criminal case.
“We remain confident that the civil aspect of this claim will go forward and will succeed,” Perakis said.
A settlement conference with assistance from a federal judge has been scheduled for March, although Hackel insisted the county won’t pay to close the case.
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