Federal judge approves award to family of transfer center inmate
Tuesday, September 20th 2005, 5:04 AM CDT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal judge approves a $1.1-million award to the family of a man who was found dead in a Federal Transfer Center cell in Oklahoma City.
44-year-old Kenneth Michael Trentadue was discovered hanging from a braided bed sheet in August 1995. Prison officials called the death a suicide.
Trentadue's family alleges that guards or another inmate beat him and prison officials covered up the crime and destroyed evidence.
The family sued, and federal Judge Tim Leonard initially ruled in their favor in 2001, saying the federal government was reckless in its handling of Trentadue's suicide.
The government appealed Leonard's ruling to the Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals.
A three-judge panel from the court returned the case to Leonard for a formal finding on the severe emotional distress suffered by Trentadue's family, but it declined to rule Trentadue's death was not a suicide.