A Georgia inmate was eaten alive by beetles in “unsuitable conditions for a deceased animal,” the family's attorney says

According to his family's attorney, Lashawn Thompson was reportedly eaten alive by insects in his Atlanta jail cell while awaiting trial on a simple battery charge in June 2022.

Now the 35-year-old's family is calling for the Fulton County Jail to be closed and a criminal investigation into Thompson's death.

“People like him are neglected. His parents are deceased. No wife, no children. His family isn't from Atlanta, so they weren't here when he was here to keep up with him. But they got the call that he had died in prison,” attorney Michael Harper of the Harper Law Firm told Fox News Digital on Thursday.

Prison officials took Thompson to the psychiatric unit after determining he suffered from schizophrenia, Harper said. In a press release Wednesday, the attorney released several extremely graphic photos of Thompson and the dirt in which he allegedly died at the detention center.

GEORGIAN prisoners enjoy a steak dinner in the prison cell, the meal likely to be provided by prison staff

The family of Fulton County, Georgia, prison inmate Lashawn Thompson says he died after he was allegedly eaten alive by insects and bedbugs in his cell. (Harper Law Firm)

“The photos approved by the family… show.”[ing] that the prison cell in which Mr. Thompson was housed was not suitable for a deceased animal,” Harper wrote. “He didn't deserve this.” Someone needs to be held responsible for his death. The Fulton County Jail needs to be closed and replaced.

Three months after being admitted to the psychiatric hospital, Thompson was found “in a filthy prison cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs,” the release said.

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Public records obtained by Harper's law firm appear to show that detention officers and medical staff at the prison noticed Thompson's deterioration – including an infection of bed bugs and lice on his torso – while he was still alive, but did nothing to help him.

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

Fulton County Jail in Atlanta

Thompson's family is calling for the Fulton County Jail to be closed and an investigation into the 35-year-old's death. (Google Maps)

“They literally watched his health deteriorate until he died. When his body was found, one of the detention officers refused to perform CPR because, as she put it, she was 'going crazy,'” Harper wrote in the press release.


Thompson's family is expected to speak during a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“They’re horrified,” Harper said.


The Fulton County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. According to 11 Alive News, Sheriff Pat Labat is pushing for a new detention center due to overcrowding, which researchers estimate could cost up to $2 billion.

“Today there are almost 600 people sleeping on the floor and the prison is held together with duct tape and chewing gum,” Labat said in February, according to 11 Alive. “If there are people who are ingenious enough to disconnect the cords from some electrical outlets and use the materials there to build and make homemade knives – then we need to create a better environment.”

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to audrey.conklin@fox.com or on Twitter at @audpants.