Muskegon corrections officers will face trial in prisoners death.
Judge rules that employees did nothing as Paul Bulthouse had over a dozen seizures in one night, killing him.
Four corrections officers in western Michigan have been ordered to stand trial in the 2019 death of a jail inmate who suffered multiple seizures while in a cell.
Muskegon County sheriff’s Sgt. David Vanderlaan, and deputies Jeffrey Patterson, Crystal Greve and Jamal Lane are charged with involuntary manslaughter.
A county district judge bound them over Thursday for trial following a preliminary examination. Charges were dismissed against a former nurse who also worked in the Muskegon County Jail.
In April, Michigan’s attorney general’s office filed charges accusing the five of willful neglect of duty in the death of Paul Bulthouse.
A medical examiner testified he suffered 18 seizures over 4½ hours, according to MLive.com.
“Nobody provides him any help at all or cares about his health or wellbeing,” Assistant Attorney General Melissa Palepu said in her closing argument this week.
A defense attorney for the nurse working at the jail said the defendants were unaware of the seizures.
Bulthouse, 39, was arrested on a probation violation and was in custody for about two weeks.
The jail employees were working in the receiving and booking area where Bulthouse was being kept in a solitary observation cell. Bulthouse had been through alcohol detoxification and allegedly attempted an escape, MLive.com reported.
Earlier this year, Bulthouse’s family reached a federal lawsuit settlement with Muskegon County. No financial details were revealed. His family sued the county, the sheriff and other officers.