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Coroner rules jail inmate’s death a homicide

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HENRY COUNTY, Ind. (Mar. 7, 2016)-- The Marion County Coroner has determined Brian Gosser, 32, died of blunt force trauma and has ruled his death a homicide.

Henry County Prosecutor Joe Bergacs said his office is determining whether charges will be filed in Gosser’s death which occurred after the inmate was “involved in a fight” inside the county jail in New Castle last week.

Detectives with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office are investigating whether Gosser was beaten by two inmates.

Bergacs indicates Gosser was transported to a Henry County hospital for treatment of his internal injuries and later transferred to St. Vincnent’s Hospital in Indianapolis where he was pronounced dead.

Gosser was arrested for drunk driving.

The Henry County Jail and Sheriff’s Office has been targeted several times over the last decade in federal lawsuits and tort claims alleging mismanagement, fatal and willful indifference to inmate medical needs and abuse and beatings leading to injuries and death.

In 2005, the estate of Darrell Craig sued the sheriff after the inmate was beaten to death by another prisoner.

Also that year, the estate of Carisa Lewis sued the county after she died of medical causes while in custody.

The estate of Jaya Patel sued for similar reasons in 2012 and reached a settlement that one county official indicated cost taxpayers and the county’s insurance carrier nearly one million dollars.

In 2014, inmates Derrick Fields and Dillon Adams sued the county, claiming they were both beaten by sheriff’s staff though deputies claimed the men were resisting.

The homicide ruling makes it possible for prosecutors to now file murder charges once the sheriff’s investigation is complete.