Updated Arraignment Information
Charges Announced in Westland Jail Death
Today Prosecutor Kym Worthy is charging Westland Sergeant Ronald Buckley, (DOB: 09/12/1964), and Westland Paramedics Matt Dicosola, (DOB: 06/20/1968), and Leah Maynard, (DOB: 02/14/1982), in connection with the in-custody jail death of William Marshall, (DOB: 04/13/1982), of Inkster.
On December 10, 2017, at 6:28 a.m., William Marshall was arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession during a traffic stop. At the time of his arrest, he was observed to have a white powdered substance on the side of his mouth, but claimed it was a donut, denied that he had ingested drugs. While in the presence of the arresting officers, Mr. Marshall spoke and walked normally. At 6:39 a.m. he was taken into the Westland jail for booking and the inside of his mouth was swabbed for the presence of drugs. At this time he did not report any medical issues and appeared to be in good health. At approximately 7:51 a.m., Mr. Marshall began convulsing, having muscle spasms and was unable to walk. Mr. Marshall and the other inmates in his cell asked jail personnel for help. Sgt. Ronald Buckley, the watch commander for the jail, called EMS.
Westland Paramedics Matt Dicosola and Leah Maynard were dispatched to the jail and arrived at 8:01 a.m. It is alleged that Sgt. Buckley and the paramedics observed Mr. Marshall on the cell floor at 8:02 a.m. At this time they saw Mr. Marshall convulsing, telling them he was having a seizure, and asking for help. He was then dragged from the cell into a hallway. It is alleged that neither paramedic took vital signs for Mr. Marshall, performed a medical assessment, or medically intervened in any manner as they watched Mr. Marshall on the floor, in distress, repeatedly requesting their help. At 8:07 a.m., Mr. Marshall was placed back in the jail cell while convulsing, and an inmate tried to come to his aid. It is further alleged that Paramedic Dicosola looked at Mr. Marshall and indicated that he and Paramedic Maynard could transport him to the hospital in case he had ingested something, but he concluded that he was not having a seizure. It is alleged that despite observing Mr. Marshall in distress, Sgt. Buckley determined that Mr. Marshall should remain in jail and dismissed the paramedics at 8:10 a.m. At approximately 8:27 a.m., Sgt. Buckley is alleged to have seen Mr. Marshall continuing to have convulsions. Sgt. Buckley failed to seek medical attention for Mr. Marshall when he left the cell area at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Mr. Marshall continued to convulse after being placed back in the cell, although the force and frequency of the convulsions diminished over time. At 9:17 a.m., Mr. Marshall was motionless. At 9:27 a.m., Sgt. Buckley observed Mr. Marshall not moving and he had another officer check his pulse and drag him into the hallway where they administered CPR and used a defibrillator. At approximately 9:39 a.m., paramedics returned to the jail. At 9:41 a.m., Mr. Marshall was transported from the jail to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Mr. Marshall's cause of death was determined to be from cocaine toxicity.
Westland Sgt. Ronald Buckley, and Westland Paramedics Matt Dicosola and Leah Maynard have each been charged with one count of Involuntary Manslaughter - Failure to Perform a Legal Duty, a felony with a 15 year maximum penalty.* They have also been charged with Misconduct in Office, a common law felony with a five year maximum penalty.*
In this case it is alleged that Mr. Marshall's death was directly caused by the defendants' failure to perform a duty and that this failure was grossly negligent to human life. Mr. Marshall died because the paramedics denied him medical treatment and abandoned him in the Westland Jail after he requested medical assistance. In the case of Sgt. Buckley, the decision to keep Mr. Marshall from going to the hospital and leaving him in the jail cell without monitoring him was a failure to perform a duty causing Mr. Marshall's death.
Statement of Prosecutor Worthy
Prosecutor Worthy said, "The alleged conduct of the defendants in this case shows an inexcusable and criminal disregard for human life from those who have the duty to serve, protect, and render aid to those in need."
The defendants were arraigned on charges of Involuntary Manslaughter and Willful Neglect of Duty* before Judge Mark Plawecki in 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights. The Probable Cause Conference was waived by the defendants. The Preliminary Examination is scheduled for December 17, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Plawecki. Each defendant received a $50,000 personal bond.
*The charges are allegations and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.