MIAMI — Florida prison officials tried to cover up the death of an ill inmate who was gassed at least three times in a confinement cell as he screamed for help, a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of the man's 12-year-old daughter alleges.
Randall Jordan-Aparo's death at Franklin Correctional Institution in the Panhandle in 2010 was publicized widely amid scrutiny of the Florida Department of Corrections for suspicious deaths.
At the time of his death, the 27-year-old was classified as a minimum security prisoner.
The lawsuit filed Monday in Tallahassee federal court by Amanda Cimillo, the mother of Jordan-Aparo's daughter, alleges corrections officers killed him and the prison's nurses, doctors and warden conspired to cover up his death.
The death of Jordan-Aparo, who had a hereditary blood disorder, remains under investigation.
According to the lawsuit, Jordan-Aparo had been in the prison infirmary multiple times on the days before his death complaining of breathing problems and other health issues.
The suit claims that a nurse and other prison medical staff concluded he was faking illness, and sent him to a confinement cell where he was gassed at least three times.
Inmates said in interviews they heard Jordan-Aparo screaming "I can't take the gas" and "I need a nurse." The suit claims he was dragged to a shower by guards, where he complained of difficulty breathing.
Jordan-Aparo's body was later discovered in the cell covered in an orange residue from the canned chemical CNS gas, known as "red devils" in the prison. He was clothed only in a pair of boxer shorts.
"He had a disease which affected his breathing, which we believe makes him a disabled adult. They knew he had this disease," said Ryan Andrews, the family's attorney.