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The Homocide of Raleigh Priester

Pompano Beach, Florida (Broward County)

The July 10, 2012 death of inmate Raleigh Priester was attributed to several reasons; hypothermia, pneumonia, dehydration, malnourishment, and a raging infection. His heart gave out as is expected and is common with hypothermia deaths, more or less the other problems in cumulative.

Inmate Priester spent 155 days in jail and went from a body weight of 240 pounds down to 120 pounds at day of his death.

Priester was a US Army veteran and a father of two, he also suffered from mental illness.

A July 13, 2014 article in the Sun-Sentinel1 states:

Priester, 52, spent the final months of his troubled life in solitary confinement at a Broward sheriff's jail, naked, mumbling to himself and playing an imaginary flute.

The mentally ill man frequently refused to eat or take medications, and alternated between banging his head on the floor and laying in a fetal position on his bunk, jail medical records show.


He died a slow and horrible death, said attorney Greg Lauer, who filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday.


While jailed from February to July 2012, Priester deteriorated before everyone's eyes with no intervention, the lawsuit alleges.

A jail employee tried to hydrate Priester by squirting water into his mouth with a syringe. He became so weak he could not sit up or put on his own pants without help, the lawsuit says.

Priester's five months behind bars was interrupted by a weeklong hospital stay after he was found unresponsive on his cell floor on May 22, 2012.

He was taken to the intensive-care unit at Broward Health North.

He had pneumonia, hypothermia, anemia, a blood infection and was suffering from malnourishment and dehydration. His feet were covered in festering open sores and he weighed 139 pounds, records show.

Priester's treating doctor noted in a consultation report that the patient is critically ill and medically he is very fragile.

Priester was put on a high-calorie diet and in a week gained 11.6 pounds. When he was discharged May 29, 2012, he was up to nearly 151 pounds, records show.

Priester was sent back to the jail with specific instructions for his continued care, the lawsuit says.

Within six weeks, Priester was dead and down to 120 pounds. He was found in a pool of vomit on his jail cell floor.

July is Hot, Not

In July is it hot in Pompano Beach, Florida, so much so the sand is too hot to even walk on, yet how does an inmate freeze to death inside the jail? The answer is the air conditioner is turned up so cold that inmates have no way to stay alive.

When Priester was taken out of the cold cell and transported to the hospital he was hypothermic, but after a week out of the cold cell, and with food he gained weight, only to be discharged, placed back in the cold cell without food, lost 31 pounds over six weeks and died.


See July 13, 2014 article in the Sun Sentinel by Tonya Alanez, (external link: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2014-07-13/news/fl-jail-starvation-20140713_1_ill-inmate-broward-jail-jail-medical-records)
(internal link: docs/BrowardHypoDeath.pdf)

PAGE LAST UPDATE: 3/11/2023, 7:56pm EST, by dab
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Jul 15th 2024 02:42pm ET