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St. Francois County to Pay $1.8 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit of Jail Inmate

(Farmington) 1.8 million dollars.

That’s what it has cost St. Francois County government to settle a wrongful death lawsuit which claimed county jailers failed to administer a Bismarck inmates’ medical needs while holding him in a chair by restraint for 24 hours.

36-year-old William “Billy” Ames III found himself in jail after a traffic stop on November 8th of 2018.

Three days later he died in the jail in Farmington.

The lawsuit said Ames had swallowed a drug called Flakka right before he was arrested.

While jailers knew Ames had taken that drug, he was put in a chair with restraints where he was left screaming and begging for help and not allowed to use the bathroom.

That’s according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit went on to say other inmates were also begging for jailers to help Ames.

Regional Radio spoke to Farmington Attorney Vonne Karraker about this case.

She represented Ames’ parents who filed the lawsuit against St. Francois County, the sheriff’s department and employees of the sheriff’s department.

And Karraker tells us about those pending cases against St. Francois County and the sheriff’s department.

Karraker says she won’t rest just because the Ames’ case has come to an end.

She wants a change to happen.

St. Francois County denied claims of the lawsuit.

County officials said they did not know Ames’ had ingested drugs prior to his arrest and they said Ames did not let jailers know about his medical needs.

Karraker tells Regional Radio she is no longer the only attorney pursuing St. Francois County on matters similar to the Ames’ case.

She says there are other cases pending from other attorneys besides her own cases.

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