Burlington Man Killed Over A $96 Ticket

Sean C. Turzanski, an inmate at the Burlington County Jail, New Jersey, has come forward with accusations that the jail staff intentionally killed a homeless man through willful neglect.

Turzanski states that on Dec 24, 2013, he was sentenced to 15 days in administrative segregation (also known as “ad-seg” or solitary confinement) for defending himself from two other inmates.

On Dec 26, 2013, while in ad-seg, Turzanski witnessed Robert Taylor, a local homeless alcoholic, be brought into the ad-seg unit.  Turzanski stated that the COs (Corrections Officers) told him Taylor was being held for failing to pay a $96 ticket.

Turzanski said Taylor was incoherent and going through alcohol withdrawals. Turzanski says the COs told him that Taylor should have been on a medical watch, but it was too much trouble for them to monitor him so that’s why they brought him into the ad-seg unit.

While in ad-seg, Turzanski witnessed Taylor deteriorate over the course of five days until he ultimately died of his condition.  Turzanski states Taylor was initially dragged into the middle of a barren concrete cell and did not move from that original position for the entire time he was in the cell.

Turzanski says Taylor was not given any blankets, pillows, or mattress, and that Taylor was placed in a suicide smock, which is similar to a straight jacket, and did not have any clothing or jacket with him.  Turzanski says that the cells are cold enough that being in such a condition in a cell would normally induce shivering.

During the course of Taylor’s stay, Turzanski states he saw Taylor miss a total of 15 meals because he was too weak to get up off of the floor in order to eat the meals that were provided to him.  Turzanski says Taylor’s meal trays were taken away by the COs while they were still full of food.  Turzanski says the COs joked about Taylor’s condition, saying he must be hungry.

During the next five days, Turzanski says Taylor was left to lay in a pile of his own feces and blood.  The COs would occasionally open Taylor’s cell door and spray Lysol to try and control the odor.  Turzanski says the Sergeant in charge, named Nun, said it would be better for everyone if Taylor just died.  Turzanski says Nurses called Taylor’s name for medical checks, but never bothered to go check on him when Taylor failed to respond.

Turzanski says he personally yelled to get Taylor help, but was ignored.  Turzanski says that when Taylor was finally discovered to be dead, the staff tried to use an automatic defibrillator on him for about 15 minutes until medics finally showed up.  The medics immediately told the staff to stop because it was readily apparent that Taylor had been dead for some time and rigor mortis had already set in.

Turzanski says he is the only person to have witnessed Taylor’s death from beginning to end because of his extended stay in ad-seg.  Turzanski says what he observed is not standard protocol and that the lack of care and neglect on the part of the COs directly lead to Taylor’s death. Turzanski accuses three officers specifically of gross neglect, Officers Nun, McDonald and Davis.

Around the 8th of February, a man named Michael Mathis, who was Turzanski’s cellmate, stated that he observed the warden show up at the gym (highly unusual) to confront Turzanski about his accusations.  Mathis stated that he overheard the warden arguing with Turzanski, saying that there’s no way Turzanski could have witnessed what he did because of Turzanski’s cell’s position.  Turzanski said he was able to see into Taylor’s cell during periods that he was let out of his cell for various activities.

Mathis stated the warden “called in a code” on Turzanski for no apparent reason, and that Turzanski has been sitting back in solitary ever since.  As of the time of this writing, that has been at least 10 days.

Show your support by writing the whistleblower inmate at
Sean C. Turzanski # 90248
Burlington County Jail
54 Grant St.
Mt. Holly NJ 08060

UPDATE 3/12/2014

The Burlington Count Times is reporting that the county medial examiners have determined that Taylor died of natural causes.  Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor James Ronca is quoted as saying, “It is clear that this inmate died of natural causes and not as the result of any criminal act.”

I would love to see the autopsy report.  Given the specificity of Turzanski’s account, and the trouble it got him into, I’m more inclined to believe Turzanski’s account over a bunch of people who obviously have a tremendous incentive to cover their own asses by lying.

Keep in mind all of this took place in a solitary confinement unit.  Taylor shouldn’t have been in there to begin with.  That fact alone merits some further investigation. If Turzanski is to be believed, Taylor should have been on a medical watch, with people checking on him regularly.  That means he should have been found to be dead long before rigor mortis had set in.

I’m curious if they tested Taylor’s blood for alcohol during the autopsy.  After 5 days, he shouldn’t have had any alcohol in his system.  If he did, then he must have died shortly after his incarceration.

  • Robert Edward Njweedman Forchi

    WOW no comments at all on this LIBERTARIAN SITE – I would think something like this would rile up and piss off LIBERTARIANS. – Well I hope your at least writing SEAN and the WARDEN to let them both know – “WE are watching”

    • Phil Asophical

      You want Libertarians to support you while we don’t get support from you on our plight. It does work both ways Ed you want help when it helps you

      http://www.recallsweeney.com/

      • Robert Edward Njweedman Forchi

        okkkkkkkk! I guess Ill respond to that petty remark:

        - “what plight for one are you talking about”?

        - And two where is this about me? Please tell me?

        – This has nothing to do with me Its about a Old White guy who got killed in jail and a young white guy who was put in the HOLE for telling what he saw – I was doing the HUMAN THING! ( Not a democrat or a republican or Libertarian thing actually ) – I was spreading the message to everyone who would hear it just because it was a injustice wasn’t thinking of any politics – You should shove that comment right back where it came from and USE THE CHARMIN afterwards to wipe your fingers. — FACTUALLY I’ve been around a longtime and Ive never received any support from the Libertarian party or the Demo-publicans. BUT whatever you put the politics into this HUMAN INJUSTICE not me. ( i actually like the Libertarians with many things “ending drug war for instance”, but the GUN arguement loses me. )

        • Bryan

          Ed, I’m Libertarian, I just wanted to encourage your research and views of libertarian philosophy. The Libertarian idea is based on the right to own your life and any force or fraud put onto you or anyone is breaking that rule. To own your life, you also carry the responsibility to protect your life from force and fraud. The Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence are based on these ideals. Ed, I’m a huge follower of yours, I hope you continue to do the work you have been involved in. I just moved to Sicklerville a year ago, I would love to help you in anything your involved in. We need to end this drug war before I have grandchildren.

          • Robert Edward Njweedman Forchi

            I understand – ( like I said in the above comment) I like a lot of the libertarian philosophy but the gun argument loses me – ( too many guns, to easy to get them, because of gun rights people ) crying all the time

  • Jimis Genetics

    I’m pretty pissed… just not shocked. Stuff like this happens every day. They tried to kill me at Oakland County Jail in Michigan, by denying me my legally prescribed medication even though I had my meds and they were legally prescribed. I was there over a small bag of medicinal cannabis, after the medical marijuana act was passed, but before it took effect. It was like 1 last attempt to kill me before there wouldn’t be able to mess with me anymore. It’s also worth mentioning that in Ferndale, Michigan (Oakland County), they tried to set me up by searching my girlfriends car and pulling out her dad’s tobacco pipe and saying it “smelled like dope”. I had to hire an attorney and go court 3 times before they finally dropped the case. I got fired because of the accusations (they actually told my boss that I was smoking cannabis while delivering pizzas), and never got my job back.
    In Oakland County, they are so full of hate that they go through such extreme measures just to deny good people safe medicine.

    • Jimis Genetics

      It was an actual wooden, old man style tobacco pipe, not one of the pipes you smoke cannabis out of. And it was brand new at that… he hadn’t even used it yet.

  • tiffany

    This happens all the time un burlington county we need more people to step up like sean did .

  • Bonni Ridgeway Orfe

    I don’t buy it

    • Robert Edward Njweedman Forchi

      Bonni Ridgeway – Thats why things like this can happen all the time because people like you are BLINDED. But you dont have to believe no sweat, the FBI just got involved. -

    • onemad

      I do, in 1993 I was held for five days in Festus Mo. jail for a $40 parking ticket I failed to pay in a timely manner. The cops there enjoyed torturing me they fed me two meals a day the first a stale cold dry sausage biscuit from McDonald’s around 10am and cold bitter beans from the White Grill on Main st. around 10pm. I got one cold rambo style with a garden hose shower at 3am the day I was released. Cops are bad people and really do enjoy hurting us when they can get away with it.

      • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

        You have my sympathies. They say that when we die, we will relive our entire lives from the perspective of everyone else that we interacted with. I’m a firm believer that those cops are going to get a firm dose of their own medicine when their time comes.

        Imagine what your life review would be like if you spent your life as those cops have. Pure hell.

  • derfelcadarn

    Death may be of “natural cause, no inflicted violence, but neglect is still a criminal act.

  • Dark Coin

    My brother saw a deaf guy get murdered by some COs in a county jail. He couldn’t hear the officers orders (hearing problem) and they hit him over the head with clubs until his brains came out. They joke about this stuff later.

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      I believe you. I just watched a video of cops beating up a guy with mental problems for no reason. He was trying to fix his bicycle chain when a cop asked him what he was doing. When he didn’t respond, the cop tried to search him (for no reason) and the guy resisted, not understanding what the cop was trying to do because he was mentally handicapped.

      It ended with the handicapped guy in the hospital.