CLEVELAND, Tenn. — A Tennessee county is paying two children of a man who hanged himself in jail in 2016.

The Chattanooga Times Free-Press reported Friday that Bradley County is paying the children of 41-year-old Ralph Nelms nearly $500,000.

Nelms’ ex-wife filed a lawsuit in 2017. She says jail personnel knew Nelms was addicted, mentally ill and suicidal when he was arrested and booked in September 2016.

The lawsuit says instead of placing him in a suicide-proof cell, corrections officers put an erratic Nelms in a booking area, covered the window to his room and left him with his clothing straps.

Three officers have been indicted on criminal charges as a result of Nelms’ death. Bradley County Sheriff’s Office spokesman James Bradford says two were fired and a third resigned.


Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com

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