9 Investigates

9 Investigates: Sex offender's death could cost Brevard County taxpayers

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — 9 Investigates found out a sex offender in custody at the Brevard County jail could end up costing taxpayers in a lawsuit.

The inmate was rushed to the hospital just weeks before he was set to go to trial for a probation violation.

Investigative reporter Karla Ray tracked down records that could support his family's claims that the symptoms which killed him went untreated.

Charles Jones was convicted of sexual battery against a minor 20 years ago. Jones failed to re-register his address, and that’s what put him back in jail for the last year.

“I'm gonna miss him. His kids gonna miss him,” said brother, Curtis Jones as he began to cry.

The charges against Charles Jones were dismissed in August. He died August 28. Hours earlier he was complaining of severe stomach pain, according to an incident report.

“His bowels had burst. And when his bowels burst, it spread the infection through his blood stream,” said Curtis Jones.

9 Investigates obtained dozens of log entries from the jail through a public records request that showed Jones every move the day he was rushed to the hospital.

Jones visited the medical infirmary hours earlier. He also visited the infirmary Aug. 16. He also requested medical care Aug. 9 and 11.

Before August, Jones had one other infirmary visit the year he spent in jail.

Though Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws prevents Eyewitness News from knowing exactly what his ailment was, his family told Eyewitness News that he'd been complaining about the same stomach pain.

“I know there's problems in every jail, but there has to be a way that they're treated properly,” said Edga Watkins, Jones sister-in-law.

Watkins used to work at the jail as a nurse.

The family told Eyewitness News that they’re exploring legal action. Which could cost taxpayers even more money, on top of the inmate care taxpayers already pay for.

WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said that when an inmate is in custody there is a duty to care for the inmate.

The sheriff's office is still investigating Jones death and until that investigation is complete, they could not comment on the family's concerns.