JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT TARGETING DOÑA ANA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER

JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT TARGETING DOÑA ANA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER

A federal district judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused Doña Ana County Detention Center personnel of negligence in the death of a former inmate. In his ruling, Judge William P. Lynch found that county detention personnel showed no negligence in their handling of Ramon Hernandez’s incarceration or release in February of 2005.

After his release, Hernandez was found lying down in a bathroom in the detention center’s front public lobby. He was asked by an officer to leave the premises. The next day, he was found dead on the grounds of a nearby building.

Family members Yolanda Sanchez and Veronica Hernandez filed suit against Doña Ana County alleging that negligence contributed to Ramon Hernandez’s death.

Attorneys representing Doña Ana County filed for summary judgment to dismiss the lawsuit, based on case law that defines the duties of jail personnel and law-enforcement officers. The judge granted the motion to dismiss, finding that Doña Ana County Detention Center officers and medical personnel performed their jobs as required, and that Hernandez’s death was neither caused nor hastened by any action or inaction by detention center staff or administration.

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Reporters seeking more information or interviews may call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 525-5801.