Sheriff’s office cleared in inmate’s deathPublished 12:31am Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office followed all proper procedures in connection with the illness of an inmate who died later that day at St. Mary’s Medical Center-Ironton Campus.
That was the finding of an almost four-month investigation into the death of Steven J. Conley, a 23-year-old who, the report stated, died from complications from intravenous drug use on Dec. 15.
“It is a sad situation for the young man and his family,” Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson said. “The sheriff called in the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association and they sent detectives to interview. Detectives sat down with my office and we reviewed the file as well as the autopsy and concluded the sheriff’s department didn’t do anything inappropriate.”
According to the Franklin County Coroner, Conley died “from acute myocardial infarct due to infective endocarditis due to intravenous drug use.”
The sheriff’s association designated the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office as the investigators. They interviewed 10 individuals from the sheriff’s office, 11 inmates and three from the Lawrence County Emergency Medical Services as part of the investigation.
“The result of the Fayette County detectives’ comprehensive investigation, as reported to the Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney, was that all officers in the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department had acted in accordance with all policies and procedures pertaining to inmate illness and the need for emergency medical intervention,” according to a release from Sheriff Jeff Lawless.
Conley had been in the county jail for about two months after he was arrested following a raid at the Southern Hills Motel in South Point. The Lawrence Drug and Major Crimes Task Force conducted the search at the motel that netted two arrests, 132 oxycodone pills, nine Xanax pills, various drug paraphernalia and $466 in cash.
Conley had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.