A Georgia inmate eaten alive by insects died by murder


May 22, 2023 | 10:22 p.m

Lashawn Thompson was eaten alive by bugs in his cell.
Courtesy of the Thompson family

Lawyers for Lashawn Thompson, an inmate at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia who was allegedly eaten alive by bugs in his cell last year, have released details of his autopsy results.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Roger Mitchell cited Thompson’s cause of death as complications from severe neglect and root causes including untreated schizophrenia, dehydration, malnutrition, and severe body insect infestations.

Thompson’s manner of death was homicide, Mitchell determined.

“These autopsy results confirm that Lashawn was killed by the extreme neglect of the Fulton County Jail and its staff,” Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney representing Thompson’s family in a lawsuit against the jail, said in a statement Monday before a news conference. “He was dehydrated, malnourished and his body was infested with insects inside and out – this is truly one of the most horrific cases we have ever seen.”

Crump added that the prison staff’s “inaction, cruelty and inhumanity” killed Thompson.

Thompson, 35, was awaiting trial on a simple battery charge in June 2022, attorney Michael Harper of the Harper law firm, who represents Thompson’s family, told Fox News Digital in April.

Thompson’s manner of death was homicide, Mitchell determined.Harper Law Firm

Prison officials transferred Thompson to the psychiatric ward after determining he had schizophrenia, Harper said. He shared several extremely graphic photos of Thompson and the dirt he allegedly died in the detention center.

Three months after his placement in the psychiatric facility, prison officials discovered Thompson, eaten by insects, rotting in a filthy prison cell.

Public records obtained by Harper’s law firm appear to show that prison officials and medical staff at the prison noticed Thompson’s deterioration — including an infection from bed bugs and lice on his upper body — while he was alive, but did nothing to help him.

There were plans to move him to another section of the prison, but they never materialized when they eventually found Thompson dead in the cell, Harper claimed.

The Fulton County Jail in Georgia announced in April that it had transferred more than 600 inmates and released a $500,000 emergency spending to address overcrowding problems after Thompson’s death made national headlines.

“It’s no secret that the dilapidated and rapidly deteriorating condition of the current facility makes it incredibly difficult to achieve the goal of providing a safe, clean, well-groomed and healthy environment for all inmates and staff,” said Pat Labat, sheriff at the Fulton County a statement at the time. “Without making explicit statements about Mr. Thompson’s medical condition, it is fair to say that this is one of many cases that illustrate the urgent need for expanded and better mental health services.”

The Atlanta Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation are investigating Thompson’s prison and death.


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