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Inmate dies while awaiting surgery after being body slammed by prison guard

“We stay good, laugh and smile but that was the end of his smile,” said Aaron Isaac who kept questioning why his youngest son Ricknaldo had to die. 

The 26-year-old inmate who was hospitalized two Sundays ago died while in the care of the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre (SLBMC). Ricknaldo had been paralyzed from the chest down after a prison guard allegedly slammed him to the ground following an altercation with other inmates.Ricknaldo had just hours before returned from the hospital after experiencing an epileptic episode.

He was serving a one-year sentence for malicious damage and was scheduled to be released from prison on July 17th. And instead of going home just two months later, on Saturday afternoon his father received a call that his son was dead.

The devastated father held back tears as he tried to make sense of what had happened. He claimed that Ricknaldo seemed fine the night before, having spoken to him for about 45 minutes at the hospital.  He told Island Press Box that Ricknaldo had gained back feeling in one of his arms and was anxious for an overseas surgeon to arrive to check on his ability to be able to walk again. He also shared that he had prayed for his son before leaving him at 6pm yesterday.

Ricknaldo, a father of two, was imprisoned on November 17th for malicious damage on a woman’s vehicle while on Tindell Road.  According to Aaron, his son had experienced an epileptic episode that day and had been unable to control himself but when he went before the Magistrate’s court he was sentenced to serve time in prison. 

While there he has had several episodes of epileptic shock – a condition his father said he had suffered with since age 17 after being hit in the head with a plyboard while at the Boys Training School.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Prisons, Trevor Pennyfeather says the officer in question has been investigated. A formal report is to be submitted to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Public Safety with recommendations from Pennyfeather.

Pennyfeather says the officer has since been transferred. The officer was transferred on May 1st after putting in an application two years ago that finally materialised.

The family has consulted Wendel Alexander for legal representation while the father is calling on the government to take action in the sudden death of his son. 

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