Inmate’s mother sues Lafayette officials

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – The mother of a man who committed suicide at Lafayette County Detention Center more than three years ago is suing the county and several current and former officials.
Antonio Tate was in the jail on hold for federal authorities when he hanged himself in September 2008. A suit filed on behalf of his mother, Geraldine Tate, said his death resulted from “grossly negligent” training and supervision policies and practices at the jail. She filed suit in U.S. District Court last September against the county, its 2008-2011 supervisors individually and in their official capacities and yet-to-be-determined other defendants. The specified officials were served notice earlier this week.
Lloyd Oliphant, who was Distict 4 supervisor at the time, said he doubts the merit of the suit.
“On the inspection tours I made, with a few exceptions that the sheriff and the jailer readily explained, I found our detention center to be more than adequate,” he said.
“What shored my opinion up is that the feds, the city, the university (of Mississippi) and other law enforcement agencies regularly and routinely use our facility to house people under their custody.”
David O’Donnell, attorney for the Board of Supervisors, said, “We’re investigating the allegations of the complaint and preparing a response.”
errol.castens@journalinc.com