weather icon Drizzle

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.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Pahrump community partakes of Photos with Santa

The Salvation Army headquarters in Pahrump was abuzz with activity on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 26, 27 and 28 as members of the Nye County Chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace worked to bring some holiday cheer to the valley while also raising much-needed funds to support its nonprofit mission.

Assemblyman Hafen decries state redistricting, files lawsuit

The election of Pahrump’s Nevada State Assembly representative just got a bit more complicated, thanks to the approval of a redistricting proposal by the Legislature last month.

No support from Pahrump committee for Rough Hat Nye solar project

The evening of Tuesday, Nov. 30 was a long one for members of the Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Committee, which convened a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. and did not adjourn until around 9:30 p.m. that night.

Pahrump man facing first-degree arson charge

A Pahrump man is facing a first-degree arson charge after admitting to setting his home on fire.

Local Salvation Army hit by thieves

As Pahrump’s Salvation Army prepares to serve families in need during the holiday season, approximately $500 worth of new toys set aside for its annual Angel Tree program were recently stolen, along with Christmas decorations and items being stored for the Kiwanis Club and Pahrump’s Sleep In Heavenly Peace organization.

Pahrump community comes together for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for appreciation and for hundreds of Pahrump area residents and visitors, there was plenty to be grateful for this year at the Pahrump Holiday Task Force’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pahrump Valley Academy virtual town hall set for Saturday

Throughout much of 2019 and into 2020, a group of local residents hoping to add a new educational option to the valley worked diligently toward establishing Pahrump Valley Academy, which would have been the valley’s very first public charter school, only to have the proposal nixed in early 2020.

Rotary Club encouraging students to read

The Pahrump Rotary Club has performed countless community service projects since its inception in 1987.