Family seeks justice for deceased son

Published 05/24 2013 04:56PM

Updated 05/24 2013 06:19PM

HOOPESTON -- A father is trying to get justice for his deceased son. 30-year old Richard Gonzalez died in the Ford County Jail last year. The coroner ruled it an accidental death, but his family says it was no accident. They filed a lawsuit against the county, sheriff and unknown employees at the jail. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley has more.

The family says Gonzalez was sick. Their lawyer says he suffered a serious medical condition days before he died and didn't get the medicine he needed. The lawyer says Gonzalez was locked in a padded cell with no help where he was pronounced dead a week later.

A lawsuit, filed Thursday, on the year anniversary of his death, alleges the wrong-doing wasn't just one incident. They say he had serious medical and mental health needs which were ignored and that jail employees manipulated evidence to cover up the real cause of death.

Gonzalez was sentenced to four years in the Ford County Jail for stealing $3,000 from a Paxton bank through ATM fraud. The sheriff facing the lawsuit says he feels great sympathy for the Gonzalez family, but his death was not the fault of anyone at the jail and he's certain that will be the decision of the court.

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