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Woman in Hillsborough County Jail died of medical neglect, brother claims

in Local Courts/Top Headlines by
Ericka Jazmine Roles

A Tampa woman with a history of mental and physical ailments died in 2015 while in custody at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Her brother is now suing the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, among others, for violating her constitutional rights, claiming they failed to give her proper medical attention, which led to her death.

Ericka Jazmine Roles was a 26-year-old mother who allegedly suffered from a variety of physical and mental ailments, including diabetes, psychotic disorder, bipolar disorder, seizure disorder, and encephalopathy.

In 2014, Roles was arrested in Hillsborough County for trespassing and battery, and spent much of the year between jail, group homes and hospitals, where she was treated for diabetes, mental illness and other disorders.

Her last arrest, Jan. 28, 2015, was for a missed court hearing; she was allegedly in the hospital at the time.

According to a lawsuit filed by Roles’ estate Feb. 17, 2017, two days her arrival – despite a lengthy history of both medical and psychological issues diagnosed by both jail and hospital staff — Roles was denied treatment for her diabetes. Instead, she was placed in the general population, left alone and unsupervised in a cell (or a restraint chair).

Roles was found comatose Feb. 2 in her infirmary cell, a result of cardiac arrest, severe metabolic acidosis and respiratory failure.

Soon afterward, Roles was diagnosed with severe and permanent brain injury. She died Feb. 20, leaving behind a brother, Quinton Avery Roles (now 26), son Calvin Roles, mother Crystal Roles and father Robert Miller. Court documents show Ericka Roles had parental rights to her son terminate, with Quinton adopting the boy.

Quinton Roles, as the personal representative of Roles’ estate, is seeking damages for medical neglect and wrongful death. Named in the suit are Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff David Gee and several deputies, along with medical contractor Naphcare and several staff members.

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