Missouri woman sues over husband's death in jail - KCTV5

Missouri woman sues over husband's death in jail

Posted: Updated:
MAYSVILLE, MO (KCTV/AP) -

A Northland woman says her husband's death while serving time in a county jail was preventable and now she's filing a wrongful death suit.

Janet Harris' husband, Timothy Harris, went to jail on May 8 after helping her purchase a gun. Maysville, MO, police arrested him because he had a prior felony for concealing a legally purchased weapon in 2010. It's illegal to possess or purchase a gun if you are a convicted felon.

"A bunch of cops came rushing out of a church. Two of them tased him at the same time," Janet Harris said of the May 8 arrest.

Police sent him to the Daviess/DeKalb Regional Jail where Janet Harris says he started to get really sick.

"He wasn't breathing normal. He had lost so much weight," she said.

According to the lawsuit filed against the jail, Timothy Harris told his wife he was being held in a cell without a toilet, running water or a sink. Fellow inmates used their prison money to call Janet Harris to tell her to contact 911 and that her husband wasn't breathing.

"He had been coughing up blood for a week, a week and a half before they even decided they were going to attempt to take him to the hospital," she said.

Twenty-five days later, Timothy Harris died on the way to the hospital.

"The doctor took me aside and told me it's the worst case of pneumonia she had ever seen. About three-quarters of his lungs were filled with infection and he didn't make it," Janet Harris said.

Her attorney, Michele Puckett, said the jail waited too long to get Timothy Harris to a doctor.

"Even if he would have been convicted of the crime that he was set up for, his sentence wasn't death," Puckett said.

Jail Administrator Bob Gray said he cannot comment because of the pending litigation. He wouldn't tell KCTV5 whether the jail is conducting an internal investigation.

Janet Harris believes police beat her husband and he succumbed to complications from his injuries. She claims her husband was mistreated because he had criticized law enforcement on social media.

An autopsy report has not yet been released.

Timothy Harris, 36, was a father to three daughters and, according to family, had no prior health problems.

The family is seeking monetary damages, attorney fees, medical and funeral expenses. The case has been referred to the Mediation and Assessment Program for possible negotiation.

Timothy Harris has a criminal history in Missouri dating back to 2007, with charges including unlawful use of a weapon, domestic assault and resisting arrest.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Serious injuries following wreck in Lee's Summit

    Serious injuries following wreck in Lee's Summit

    Monday, May 29 2017 10:21 PM EDT2017-05-30 02:21:34 GMT
    (KCTV5)(KCTV5)
    At least four people suffered serious injuries following a wreck at 350 and Colbern Road in Lee's Summit.  The Lee's Summit Police Department said "five or six" people suffered injuries from the wreck and at least four of them were serious in condition.  Multiple vehicles were involved in the wreck.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more.  Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. More >
    At least four people suffered serious injuries following a wreck at 350 and Colbern Road in Lee's Summit.  The Lee's Summit Police Department said "five or six" people suffered injuries from the wreck and at least four of them were serious in condition.  Multiple vehicles were involved in the wreck.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more.  Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. More >
  • Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Thursday, January 29 2015 11:44 PM EST2015-01-30 04:44:07 GMT
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language.More >
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language. More >
  • Deputy shoots, kills suspected shoplifter at Raytown Walmart

    Deputy shoots, kills suspected shoplifter at Raytown Walmart

    Monday, May 29 2017 5:51 PM EDT2017-05-29 21:51:07 GMT
    Police have blocked off a scene at the Raytown Walmart located at 10300 East Highway 350. (KCTV5)Police have blocked off a scene at the Raytown Walmart located at 10300 East Highway 350. (KCTV5)

    A Jackson County deputy shot and killed a suspected shoplifter Sunday night at a Walmart in Raytown following a struggle with the deputy's stun gun

    More >

    A Jackson County deputy shot and killed a suspected shoplifter Sunday night at a Walmart in Raytown following a struggle with the deputy's stun gun

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.