An independent autopsy found that a man who was “eaten alive by bugs” in an Atlanta jail cell died of “extreme negligence.”
His family’s attorney said the report revealed LaShawn Thompson was dealing with “untreated schizophrenia, poor living conditions and a serious physical illness.”
Three Fulton County Jail workers have resigned amid an internal investigation into what happened.
Mr. Thompson died last September in the prison’s psychiatric ward.
Dr. Roger Mitchell Jr., the former chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C., independently performed the autopsy.
He wrote: “The death of Mr. LaShawn Thompson was caused by severe neglect evidenced by untreated schizophrenia, poor living conditions, poor grooming, frequent and severe bed bugs, dehydration, and rapid weight loss.”
The 35-year-old was placed in the psychiatric ward of the Fulton County Jail after authorities deemed him mentally ill.
He was found unconscious on September 13 last year, three months after his arrest in June.
An autopsy indicated that Thompson weighed 180 pounds (81 kg) when he arrived at the prison for a misdemeanor, and the initial autopsy report showed that he weighed 148 pounds.
Thompson’s death sparked an online outrage when photos of his body riddled with insects were released.
Dr. Mitchell wrote that the post-mortem toxicology report was negative for medication prescribed to Mr. Thompson for schizophrenia, and described the manner of death as “homicide”.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, said Mr Thompson had suffered more than 1,000 bites, and the bug was found in his mouth, ears, nose and all over his body.
“It is incomprehensible that any employee of this facility would have lifted a finger to help Lashawn when he died so slowly for three months while they were in their care,” Mr. Crump said. “Their inaction, cruelty and brutality got him killed.”
Thompson’s death is being investigated by the Office of Professional Standards and the Atlanta Police Department, and will later be turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
Sheriff Patrick Labatt said Monday that he has yet to fully review the independent autopsy.
“The repercussions of anyone negligent in Mr Thompson’s care can come to light once the full investigation has been handed over to [Georgia Bureau of Investigation] for evaluation.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy found a “severe bedbug infestation” but found no trauma to his body and ruled his death indefinite.
Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights initiative funded the independent autopsy.