- Associated Press - Saturday, May 28, 2016

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Scotts Bluff County filed by the mother of a jail guard strangled by a 15-year-old inmate.

Julie Baszler filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in North Platte a year ago after efforts to reach a settlement with the county failed, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1qS5VZd ) Saturday.

Baszler’s daughter, Amanda Baker, was 24 when she was strangled by then-15-year-old Dylan Cardeilhac on Valentine’s Day in 2014. Security video shows Baker entered the teen’s cell after he pointed to something on the floor. When she got on her hands and knees to check, Cardeilhac fatally attacked her. Cardeilhac is serving 60 years to life in prison for second-degree murder.

Baszler’s lawsuit points to inaction by Baker’s supervisor. He wasn’t watching a security monitor when Cardeilhac strangled Baker, the lawsuit said, and he did not try to resuscitate her after finding her unconscious. Seventeen minutes passed between the time she was discovered and the arrival of emergency medical workers. The supervisor was later fired.

In an order Tuesday dismissing the lawsuit, Chief U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp said the Constitution doesn’t guarantee government employees minimal levels of safety or security in the workplace or against wrongful conduct of private actors.

Attorney Vince Valentino, who represented the county, said the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center has made a number of changes to enhance safety and security at the facility following an internal review of Baker’s death.

The changes included buying and installing a new intercom system and a large-screen TV inside the juvenile supervisor’s office, as well as completing a preliminary software upgrade that has video feed automatically appear on the control tower monitor when a juvenile cell door is manually unlocked.

“It was clearly a tragic circumstance,” Valentino told the newspaper.

But, he said, you can’t plan for every contingency or prevent people from making bad decisions.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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