SAN JOSE (AP) — The family of a mentally ill inmate who was beaten to death in a Northern California jail will receive $3.6 million under a settlement.
Santa Clara County agreed to settle a wrongful death and civil rights violation claim brought by the family of 31-year-old Michael Tyree, who was found dead in his cell last year. The settlement will be paid to Tyree’s two sisters and his 7-year-old daughter.
“The family would much rather have their brother than any amount of money. It’s the most bittersweet money,” attorney Paula Canny told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Three correctional officers were charged with murder in Tyree’s death and will face trial in January.
Tyree died from internal bleeding and suffered significant liver and spleen damage. An investigation determined he had been beaten hours before he was found in his cell. Tyree, who was serving time for misdemeanor theft and drug possession, had been housed by himself in a section of the jail reserved for inmates who are in protective custody or have special needs.
Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith had said the three guards were the only people with access to Tyree’s cell the night he died. Several inmates told police they could hear Tyree screaming for several minutes.