Lawyer sues Franklin County and Sheriff Scott for woman’s death in jail


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — A Cleveland lawyer is suing Sheriff Zach Scott and the Franklin Co. Jail, among others, over the death of a homeless woman in April.

mary-mccoy-2Mary McCoy, 55, was arrested by the Columbus Division of Police on the morning of April 6 on an open container warrant and died in jail less than 24 hours later. The sheriff’s office and Franklin County Coroner’s office say she died of natural causes.

PDF: Mary McCoy lawsuit

The lawsuit alleges that McCoy was suffering from alcohol withdrawal, gastrointestinal emergency, and shock. Jail staff allegedly did not provide her the proper treatment and were told to let her detox on her own after she was brought in around 7:15 a.m.

McCoy also suffered a head injury after falling when two deputies tried to pick her up from the floor of her cell around 2:30 p.m. on April 6.

According to the lawsuit, no one had taken McCoy’s blood pressure or checked her vital signs until after the fall, even though she was confused, disoriented and ill. She was placed alone in a holding cell after she fell. Other inmates called out that McCoy needed help, but she allegedly did not receive any medical treatment.

She was found dead around 4:30 a.m. on April 7, according to the lawsuit.

David Malik, who is representing McCoy’s family, says there is video of her suffering and being ignored by jail staff in the jail.

Geoff Stobart, chief deputy at the Franklin County Jail, said detectives fully investigated the case and “found no wrongdoing at all.”

“(There was) no criminal misconduct at any time,” he said. “When the coroner’s report came back it clearly indicated that Ms. McCoy’s death was unfortunate, it was due to natural causes.”

April Pullins, one of McCoy’s daughters, said a deputy came to her door and told her the news.

“I ended up throwing up from just being so surprised by it,” she said. “I just was crying and wanted my family here with me.”

Pullins told stories of happier times and says her mother did not deserve to suffer and die alone on a cell floor.

“So it is little things…I’m really going to miss and knowing my sons aren’t going to have their grandmother.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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