Negligence Alleged in Frederick, Md., Jail Suicide

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    A Washington law firm says Frederick County immigration enforcement contributed to the suicides of three jail inmates.

    The firm of Bode and Grenier filed the latest federal lawsuit Oct. 11. It concerns the October 2010 death of Valerie Ann Miller. She hanged herself with a bed sheet in what the complaint alleges was an unmonitored cell.

    The lawsuit alleges negligence in failing to monitor Miller as a suicide risk, partly because the number of inmates held on federal immigration detainers left the jail short-staffed.

    The same claim is made in two pending lawsuits stemming from other inmates' suicides in 2009 and 2010. The county has denied the allegations in one case and moved for dismissal of the other.

    Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has denied any negligence in Miller's death.