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$350,000 Verdict for Family Whose Loved One Was Murdered in Prison

Tittle & Perlmuter Obtains $350,000 Verdict for Family Whose Loved One Was Murdered in Prison

ODRCBrad Hamlin just wanted another chance to be a father to his children. Hamlin never had this opportunity after he was brutally murdered in prison by serial killer, Lawrence Hensley. The legal issue for Attorney Scott Perlmuter, however, was how could Brad Hamlin, a nonviolent offender who formerly had a drug problem, end up in the same cell block as Lawrence Hensley, a violent serial killer who, at the height of his killing spree, murdered three teenage girls and a bible school teacher. Put simply, the only way this could happen is if someone chose to violate the rules. These rules are put in place to protect the public. The most violent criminals deserve to be locked up in a maximum security facility together, not with nonviolent offenders who are trying to get their life in order.

Negligent in Following Policies

Attorney Perlmuter, despite these cases being notoriously difficult to prove, took this case to trial in the Court of Claims. This is a special court in Columbus, Ohio where state entities must be sued. He obtained a $350,000 verdict on behalf of the Hamlin family. The Court found that the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) failed to follow their own guidelines relating to inmate placement. This ultimately led to Hamlin’s death.

One rule the ODRC had to follow was to make sure that an inmate’s prior violent behavior was included in their review of inmate placement – this didn’t happen. This resulted in Hensley moving from a Level 5 security prison to a Level 3, minimum security prison. In addition to Hensley’s violent acts outside of prison, the ODRC failed to take into consideration all of his following violent acts. 1) Hensley’s prior attempted murder of a different inmate after he beat him with a can of chili stuffed in a sock; 2) Hensley’s second attempted murder while incarcerated, after he stabbed another inmate with a shank and stomped on his head; 3) Hensley’s third and fourth attempted murders when he attempted to poison two additional inmates; and 4) Hensley’s fifth attempted murder, after he tried to strangle another inmate with a laundry bag cord.

Judge Patrick McGrath presided over the trial that lasted a week. Scott Perlmuter, along with co-counsel Mark Petroff, were lead counsel in the case.

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