Sheriff’s office being sued over wrongful death

The family of a woman who committed suicide inside the old Pahrump jail in 2012 is now suing the Nye County Sheriff’s Office claiming the department was told that the woman was possibly suicidal, but allowed her to be housed in the jail’s waiting room due to overcrowding anyway, where she was able to shut herself inside a bathroom.

The lawsuit was filed on May 12 by the family of Kristina Lynn Leidecker.

Leidecker was reportedly found hanging from a ligature fashioned from her bra on May 14, 2012, inside the facility’s waiting room bathroom. She and three other women were temporarily being housed in the waiting room at the time due to overcrowding in the old jail.

The waiting room bathroom reportedly had a door that closed, providing privacy, so her cellmates didn’t know what Leidecker had done. When detention staff found her, Leidecker was rushed to the local hospital before being flown to University Medical Center in Las Vegas where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Leidecker was being held at the facility at the time of the incident on charges stemming from a Dec. 31, 2011 domestic dispute between her and her parents.

According to the suit, the morning of the incident, Leidecker had appeared in District Court, and returned to the jail visibly upset after she was denied a request for release from custody.

It stated she then shut herself inside the waiting room bathroom, out of the view of detention deputies, where she committed suicide.

The suit also noted that in addition to the alleged overcrowding issues at the facility at the time of Leidecker’s death, a report from the Nye County Law Enforcement Association (NCLEA), concluded that the jail was also deficient in their number of employees at the time as well.

The family is now seeking to have the sheriff’s department pay in excess of $75,000 in compensatory damages, $75,000 in medical expenses and $75,000 in punitive damages for Leidecker’s wrongful death.

“Due to the dangerously low staffing levels that existed at the time, and due to the overcrowding of the jail, Ms. Leidecker was able to lock herself in a bathroom, where she was out of sight from employees, and due to being improperly monitored, Ms. Leidecker was able to commit suicide when Defendants knew, or should have known, that Ms. Leidecker was suicidal,” the lawsuit states.

When asked for comment on the suit, Sheriff Tony DeMeo said the sheriff’s office cannot comment on ongoing civil litigation filed against the department.