- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A sheriff’s deputy was arrested on a malfeasance charge Wednesday in connection with last October’s suicide of a 15-year-old boy at the New Orleans jail.

Court records show 25-year-old Keriana Alexcee was being held Wednesday on $2,500 bond.

Jaquin Thomas hanged himself with a mattress cover tied to a bar on a window while he was jailed on a murder charge on Oct. 17.

An arrest affidavit states that Thomas was in a tier where jail staffers were to make security checks every 15 minutes. It says Alexcee waited too long between checks. It also says she passed Thomas’s cell four times, never looking inside, after he hanged himself.

The affidavit also says a suicide note was found at Thomas’s cell desk.

Thomas’s death was one of two inmate suicides since a new jail facility opened in September 2015.

The affidavit says surveillance camera video “captured the inmate standing on a stool inside of his cell, reaching for the area of the cell’s window.” It says all signs of movement ended at 7:48 p.m.

It says Alexcee didn’t begin a required security check until 7:53 p.m., an hour after her first such check. Even then, the affidavit says, she passed Thomas’s cell four times without looking inside. It wasn’t until a third security check that Alexcee discovered Thomas hanging in his cell, at 9:19 p.m.

Thomas’s death was one of two inmate suicides since a new jail facility opened in September 2015.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office has been struggling to comply with reforms ordered under the settlement of a lawsuit filed by inmate advocates and the Justice Department.

Hundreds of inmates have been shipped to other state facilities to lessen the workload while a newly appointed jail director works to increase and better train staff.

Court records said Alexcee had not yet hired a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.

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