Heartbroken father feels more could have been done to prevent son’s death in jail

A heartbroken father reached out to WINK News, saying that his son died in jail. His 30-year-old son was in jail for failure to appear in court.

That father believes the sheriff’s office could have done more to prevent his son from dying in the medical ward of jail rather than at the hospital. He says if someone, anyone, had taken his son to the hospital, he’d still be alive.

Paul Carbone will always admit that his son, Michael was not perfect. “He had addiction problems most of his adult life. He had been struggling through it,” Carbone said. He knows his son had demons because he also dealt with them.

Michael’s addiction led to trouble, including several minor arrests for panhandling and drugs. His most recent arrest was in October for failure to appear in court on one of those drugs charges.

Michael was only in jail for six days when his father got a call from a Lee County detective. “She told me he was in the medical ward at the Lee County Jail, and he died in his sleep,” said Carbone. “And she was the assistant investigator due to his death being that he was so young and… he was in custody and not taken to the hospital. And, basically passed away at such a young age while incarcerated.”

Carbone says his son died of a bacterial infection that had spread to his heart. This infection is called endocarditis. His son had been hospitalized with inflammation of the heart just eight months prior.

“If he was sick enough to pass away, and he was in the medical ward for six days, I don’t see a reason why they didn’t take him to the hospital,” Carbone said.

Now, Carbone is angry. He is aware that his son wasn’t perfect. But he also will tell you that his son shouldn’t be dead. “Because he was homeless, struggled with addiction, had no money and was what really the jail and judicial system looks at as a nobody, that he was treated differently and left to die,” said Carbone.

The medical examiner is investigating how Michael died. There is no evidence that anyone in jail treated Michael Carbone differently.

WINK News asked LCSO about its policy for transporting a sick prisoner to the hospital, but they did not send it to us. Instead, they told us that Carbone’s death is part of an active investigation.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Drew Hill
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