Spartanburg County sued after jailhouse death

Ashley Harmon
Ashley Harmon

SPARTANBURG Co., S.C. (WSPA) — The estate of a woman who hanged herself in the Spartanburg County jail is suing Spartanburg County, the sheriff’s office and detention center.

A S.C. Law Enforcement Division investigation revealed that Ashley Harmon was arrested in June 2015 for a domestic violence incident.

The incident report from the jail says that Harmon was violent en route to the jail, spitting on deputies and kicking their patrol cars.

Deputies recognized that Harmon was suicidal and had a history of Bipolar disorder. Due to those risk factors, Harmon was placed on suicide watch at the jail after her arrest.

The SLED report states that deputies checked on Harmon every 15 minutes. During one check, deputies found Harmon had hung herself on a hinge inside the cell with her shirt.

An AED Defibrillator and a landline phone did not work, according to documents in a SLED report.

Since Harmon’s death, the jail has not used those cells until they are renovated. Additional security cameras and a new electronic tracking device has also been added to show an inmate’s status at all times.

The estate of Harmon alleges the Spartanburg County Detention Center failed by having an improperly designed jail for mental health patients, along with many other charges.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

Click or tap here to read the lawsuit.

 

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