SLED investigating inmate death in Laurens Co.

News

The family of an inmate who died at the Laurens County Detention Center is pressing investigators for answers. 

Xavier Torraces Parks, 40, died Feb. 1 at the jail, according to the Laurens County Coroner’s Office. 

Parks’ family and others grilled Sheriff Don Reynolds for information Sunday during an open dialogue at New Beginnings Missionary Baptist Church. 

“Do you feel like you got answers from the Sheriff?” 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman asked.

“No, not really,” said Elizabeth Parks, Xavier’s stepmom. 

Parks had been jailed since late December on a bench warrant, according to Sheriff Reynolds. 

Parks had complained he wasn’t feeling well to his girlfriend in the weeks leading up to his death. 

“He just needed medical attention and they did not give that to him,” said Elizabeth Parks. 

Sheriff Reynolds says detention center staff gave Parks a laxative on the morning of February 1. He says hours later, staff members went to check on him. They found Parks unresponsive in the bunk of his cell. 

According to the sheriff, sick inmates are treated by the nurse. Inmates are taken to the hospital for more serious cases. 

Parks’ family argues he wasn’t even given a chance to see a nurse, which Sheriff Reynolds vowed to investigate. 

If we didn’t tend to him in a proper manner, then that’s not right,” Sheriff Reynolds said. 

The sheriff says he asked SLED to take over, in hopes that an independent agency conducting the investigation will give Parks’ family peace of mind. 

“With SLED investigating, I think that’s the best thing.” Gretta Parks, Xavier’s sister-in-law, said. “We will get more answers.” 

A SLED spokesperson tells 7News they hope to release the findings of their investigation within the next week. 

An autopsy was performed, but the coroner tells 7News they are still waiting for the results. 

Community leaders say this investigation has inspired them to start a citizens review board that monitors the practices of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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