$160K settlement in lawsuit after inmate suicide

Raymond HOlmes
An undated photo of Raymond Holmes courtesy the Michigan Department of Corrections.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The family that claims a deputy was distracted by Monday Night Football while their loved one took his own life at the Mecosta County Jail has settled a lawsuit.

According to documents filed in federal court, the Mecosta County will pay $160,000 to the estate of Raymond Holmes. After paying attorney fees, settling liens and covering funeral costs, each of Holmes’ three children will get about $21,153 after they turn 18.

Holmes hanged himself in a holding cell at the Mecosta County Jail on Sept. 14, 2015. He died two days later at a Grand Rapids hospital.

Family members said they warned the sheriff’s office that Holmes was suicidal, but authorities never placed him on suicide watch and didn’t do enough to prevent him from hurting himself.

Court documents say that the deputy who was on duty near Holmes’ holding cell was watching Monday Night Football with other inmates while Holmes hanged himself from his bed frame. Then, when other inmates saw what had happened and told the deputy, the deputy he had to run to get his keys, which he had forgotten in another area.