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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday — February 4, 2004


Sheriff says ex-inmate’s lawsuit is unfounded

Express Staff Writer

After reviewing a lawsuit that was filed against the Blaine County Jail on Jan. 21, Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, who manages the jail, said the allegations contained in the document are completely unfounded.

The lawsuit, filed in 5th District Court in Hailey, alleges a former inmate was incarcerated for approximately a month without being provided medical attention for a broken elbow.

"He saw a doctor within 24 hours of coming to us," Femling said. "When they say that we arrested him and broke his arm during the arrest, it’s just totally false. He was brought up here by another county and was booked in here. We’re the ones who noticed he was favoring his arm."

Femling said former inmate Juan Carlos Carillo-Neri was given medical attention five times by different doctors, including a visit to an orthopedic surgeon, during his 23-day stay at the jail. In all, Blaine County spent $895.80 on doctor’s visits for the 25-year-old man, Femling said.

"I’m sure we’ll have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get this resolved, but we’re not worried at all, because we took him to a lot of doctors and we have all the doctors’ bills to prove it," Femling said. "(His attorney) needs to go back and get her facts right and file against anyone she thinks needs to be filed against."

Femling said Carillo-Neri was arrested by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, which took him to the Twin Falls County Jail. He was in the Twin Falls facility for three to five days.

He was transported to the Blaine County Jail on Feb. 5, 2002, following his arrest on a Blaine County warrant, Femling said.

"During booking, he was favoring his arm, his elbow area," Femling said. "The booking officer asked if he had an injury. He said yes, that he had fallen off a roof previous to his arrest."

According to the complaint, filed by attorney Diane Rader. of Caldwell, Carillo-Neri was arrested earlier in the week on the Blaine County warrant in Twin Falls. During the arrest, "the arresting officer broke (his) arm, resulting in severe pain … and a marked deformity to his elbow," Rader contended.

"Despite the severe pain resulting from the injury, the obvious deformity of the elbow and (Carillo-Neri’s) obvious need for medical attention, (the jail) never provided medical treatment to (him) at any time during his incarceration," Rader wrote in the complaint.

But Femling was specific.

"We made a doctor’s appointment right there during his booking," he said. "He went to Hailey Medical Clinic on Feb. 6. On Feb. 7, we took him to an orthopedic surgeon. On Feb. 20, we took him to a doctor again. On Feb. 22, we took him to another doctor. On Feb. 27, we took him to the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center. On Feb. 28, he was released from the Blaine County Jail."

According to court records, Carillo-Neri was arrested on a Blaine County warrant and was originally charged with drug trafficking, but the charge was later amended to possession of a controlled substance. On Sept. 9, 2002, he pled guilty to the reduced charge.

He received a two-year fixed prison term, but that sentence was suspended, and Carillo-Neri served 90 days in the Blaine County Jail. He also was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and a $2,500 fine, with $1,000 of the fine suspended.

Rader did not return the Mountain Express’ telephone calls, and the Citizenship and Immigration Service would not disclose information without a Freedom Of Information Act request.




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