Family members for the estate of a Gage County Jail inmate who died in custody, have filed a half a million dollar lawsuit against Gage County.
The estate of Adam Wolken filed the suit against Gage County Sheriff Millard Gustafson and other, unnamed employees of the county.
Wolken hanged himself in the detention center early on the morning of February 15th, 2014. He had been arrested by a SWAT unit during a standoff at The Traveler’s Lodge Motel in north Beatrice, where he held a child and two women hostage. He released one of the women and the child and the other woman was able to escape.
Wolken finally surrendered at about 2:30am, with officers recovering a loaded AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and one handgun.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege negligence on the part of the sheriff’s office, and that law officers should have known that Wolken had suicidal tendencies. The lawsuit also states that law officers should have known Wolken was a danger to himself and that there was a failure to transfer him to another facility for his safety.
The lawsuit alleges the sheriff’s office failed to take adequate steps to prevent the hanging. It claims Wolken’s constitutional and civil rights were violated.
A half-million dollar tort claim against the county was filed last January. The claim accused detention center personnel of “deliberate indifference” to Wolken’s psychological condition.
A Gage County District Court Grand Jury previously found no criminal conduct that caused or contributed to the death of Wolken, who was found unresponsive in his jail cell.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE