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FBI investigating death of Macomb Co. inmate

Tom Greenwood and Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Mount Clemens — Macomb Sheriff Anthony Wickersham has met with the FBI which is investigating the death last year of a Roseville man while he was incarcerated at the county jail.

Wickersham said he encouraged the Federal Bureau of Investigation to meet with him over the death of David Stojcevski, 32, and provided investigators with a completed investigation, an internal investigation and approximately 240 hours of in-cell video.

Stojcevski died June 27, 2014, in his cell after serving 16 days of a 30-day sentence for a driving infraction after failing to pay a $772 fine.

“I promote transparency within my office and look forward to the findings of the FBI,” Wickersham said in a statement. “Any death that occurs in the Macomb County Jail is tragic, not only to the family of the deceased, but to the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office who oversee the care and custody of our 1,200 inmates daily.”

According to a federal lawsuit filed by brother Vladimir Stojcevski, during the time he was in jail, Stojcevski reportedly lost 50 pounds and had hallucinations and seizures caused by untreated withdrawal symptoms.

An autopsy determined the cause of death was “acute withdrawal” after Stojcevski was denied prescribed doses of methadone, Xanax, Klonopin and oxycodone, according to the complaint.

According to the lawsuit, footage from Stojcevski’s cell shows the inmate steadily lost weight, dropping from 195 to 145 pounds. He appeared to hallucinate, arguing with people who were not in his cell.

At one point, he crawled under the cell’s bunk bed and later lay in the middle of the cell, his body shaking from seizures.

His condition continued to deteriorate until he was found June 27 struggling to breathe inside his cell, according to the complaint. He was rushed to McLaren Regional Hospital in Mount Clemens, where he was pronounced dead.

“He was sent to a relatively short period of time in jail, and while he was in jail, he was treated in a woefully inadequate manner, if at all, for the medical issues from which he suffered,” attorney Robert Ihrie said last week.

The lawsuit targets Macomb County, Wickersham, jail employees and Correct Care Solutions, which is contracted by the county to provide medical care at the jail. It seeks “a substantial sum” in addition to court costs, attorney fees and punitive damages, Ihrie said.

“They are also seeking policy changes so that this kind of failure on the part of the defendants never happens again,” he said.

A judge will consider a request to dismiss the lawsuit Oct. 14, according to the Associated Press.

Wickersham said that due to the current lawsuit, his office would have no further comments on the case or the FBI review.

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