ACA.16th.009.032820

Inmates work in a field near the Iberia Parish Jail Friday, March 27, 2020, in New Iberia, La.

The family of an Iberia Parish inmate who committed suicide while in custody filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday, claiming jail staff failed to provide adequate medical care.

Raymond Bonnette killed himself in the jail July 21, 2020; the lawsuit was filed on the anniversary of his death. The lawsuit does not provide details concerning the manner or circumstances in which the suicide occurred.

The lawsuit notes that Bonnette had “a documented history of mental illness,” and that he “displayed erratic, bizarre behavior” in the days leading up to his death. Four unnamed corrections officers are accused of housing Bonnette in “unmonitored solitary confinement with material he could use to commit suicide.”

Four medical staffers and a supervisor, all unnamed, are also accused, along with Iberia Parish government. Sheriff Thomas Romero and the former warden, Anthony Green, are the only named defendants.

Green was appointed under the previous sheriff, Louis Ackal, in 2018. The timing and reason for his departure were not immediately clear Thursday afternoon.

An assistant to the current warden, Gary Wescott, referred questions to a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, who did not respond to a voicemail.


Email Ben Myers at bmyers@theadvocate.com. Follow Ben Myers on Twitter, @blevimyers.