NC court upholds firing of prison captain over inmate death

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Court of Appeals says a state prison captain can’t get his job back after he was fired following the death of a mentally ill inmate in 2014.

Local media outlets report the court on Tuesday upheld the firing of Shawn Blackburn.

Blackburn, who was the former captain at Alexander Correctional Institution, was fired in April 2014 for “grossly inefficient job performance” following Michael Anthony Kerr’s death.

The 54-year-old inmate, who had schizophrenia, died of dehydration in March 2014 after being locked in a solitary cell for 35 days.

The state announced in July that it would pay Kerr’s family a $2.5 million settlement for his death. The prison system has said it changed its policies regarding solitary confinement and mentally ill inmates because of Kerr’s death.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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