$25M lawsuit for inmate who died in hot Rikers cell

$25M lawsuit for inmate who died in hot Rikers cell

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Jerome Murdough, a mentally ill, homeless former Marine arrested for sleeping in the roof landing of a public housing project during one of the coldest recorded winters in city history, died in a Rikers Island jail cell. (AP photo/Jason DeCrow) Jerome Murdough, a mentally ill, homeless former Marine arrested for sleeping in the roof landing of a public housing project during one of the coldest recorded winters in city history, died in a Rikers Island jail cell. (AP photo/Jason DeCrow)
By JAKE PEARSON
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - The mother of a mentally ill, homeless veteran who was found dead in a one-hundred-degree New York City jail cell plans to file a $25 million wrongful death lawsuit.

Family attorney Derek Sells says he'll ask the city to preserve all communications and 911 recordings regarding inmate Jerome Murdough's death on Rikers Island at a press conference Friday.

Sells filed a notice of claim on behalf of Murdough's mother Alma Murdough, 75, on April 30. That's the first procedural step in filing a lawsuit against the city.

Department of Correction officials say a heating malfunction caused the 56-year-old former Marine's cell to overheat. They say he wasn't checked for hours.

Documents show a medical examiner initially believed Murdough's death was heat-related. A spokeswoman says more tests are needed.

Prosecutors are investigating.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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