NC reaches deal with family of inmate who died in custody

AP News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2015 6:31 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. Department of Public Safety says its Division of Adult Correction has reached a $2.5 million settlement with the estate of a man with mental illness who died of thirst after being held in solitary confinement for 35 days.

A statement issued Monday announced the agreement with the estate of Michael Anthony Kerr.

Records show the 54-year-old inmate was twice cited for violations by prison staff for flooding his cell weeks before his death. Kerr was found unresponsive in the back of a prison van after being driven three hours from the Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville to a mental hospital at Raleigh's Central Prison.

The Associated Press reported that an autopsy determined Kerr died of dehydration on March 12, 2014, and was receiving no treatment for his schizophrenia.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety website Kerr was listed as a habitual felon and serving a 31-year sentence after he was convicted of firing nine shots into a house in October 2008.