Lawsuit alleges Ohio inmate who died ‘brutalized’ by staff

COLUMBUS — Ohio prison guards “brutalized” an inmate they were trying to remove from his cell, slamming him into a wall, punching him and hitting him with a pepper spray cannister, causing injuries that led to the inmate’s death days later, a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit alleges.

Guards failed to make any effort to de-escalate the situation even though inmate Dewey McVay was known to act out, and nurses who examined McVay’s injuries from the Dec. 2, 2019 incident at the state Correctional Reception Center in Orient in central Ohio offered only minimal treatment, according to the lawsuit filed in the Ohio Court of Claims.

The guards “brutalized Mr. McVay in his cell,” said the lawsuit filed last week and seeking unspecified damages in an amount over $25,000. McVay, 55, was serving a sentence of 15 to 150 years for a rape conviction out of Franklin County. He died Dec. 20 at the Ohio State hospital after complaining of back pain, difficulty moving, and distress.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction declined comment.

A prison investigation found that guards used inappropriate force, should have allowed McVay to cool off first, and lost control of the situation, the lawsuit said.

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;

Associated Press