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Texas Legal News: Death of Clements inmate Alton Rodgers leads to lawsuit against TDCJ

Posted on October 12, 2016 by Jesse Quackenbush

A civil lawsuit now coming down the pipes. The mother of William P. Clements Unit Inmate Alton Rogers seeks answers. Gwendolyn Patrick said she intervened just months before her son’s death, trying to get him medical attention she believes could have saved his life.

“It makes feel awful because it’s such a slow death,” Patrick said. “Starvation, lack of medical care, all the weight loss. Everything that my son went through could have been prevented just by helping him out. He needed medical care and he wasn’t getting it.”

Patrick turned to Attorney Jesse Quackenbush who said Rogers’ death was not only unjust but also a crime against humanity.

“He went from a body mass index of 23 which is close to 187 pounds to 16.5 which is 145 pounds over the course of just a year,” Quackenbush said. “He literally was skin and bones when he got to the hospital.”

Quackenbush said medical records prove Rogers had tuberculosis and was denied treatment in the last two years of his life. He said Rogers requested dietary changes time after time because the illness prevented him from holding anything down.

“The hospital staff rightfully questioned the guards why the inmate was starving to death,” Quackenbush said. “They had no good answer. In fact they lied and said the inmate was trying to starve to death, there’s nothing in his medical records to substantiate that.”

Instead, Quackenbush said the guards argue Rogers died due to injuries sustained in an altercation with his cellmate, Joe Greggs.

ABC7 reached out to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and they said their records still conclude the fight was the cause of death, but Quackenbush said it’s a cover up.

“Mr. Greggs denies having any altercation with Alton Rogers,” Quackenbush said. “He also denies the fact that his hand was broken in some alleged fight. He and Alton were friends. Mr. Greggs will fight any charges that are thrown against him.”

He said other inmates have written letters describing similar TB symptoms and he’s concerned this is a widespread epidemic that the criminal justice system is trying to cover up.

The T.D.C.J refused to comment further due to pending litigation.

To read Rogers’ medical records and other documents in this case, click here.

Story provided by Amarillo ABC News 7. Amarillo KAMR 4 also reports on this story.

If you have any questions or need legal advice, feel free to contact me directly at your convenience.

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