Scioto County Prosecutor, Shane Tieman, broke his silence about the death of Kevin Bailey.
Bailey is the 56-year-old inmate at the Scioto County Jail who died of injures sustained during an incident at the jail. According to officials from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, those injuries happened after he fell into an open door during a scuffle with guards.
According to Bailey’s sister, Karen Skaggs, he suffered a fractured skull, six broken ribs, and a black eye. She made the decision to remove him from life support after doctors at a Columbus hospital said his brain was irreparably damaged. Sources allege Bailey was viciously beaten by guards for mouthing off.
I reached out to the prosecutor on Sunday morning for two things.
- To relay a message from Bailey’s grieving sister, Karen Skaggs.
- To ask about unconfirmed rumors surrounding the investigation.
Despite the weekend, Tieman got back to me in just a few hours. That’s unusual and certainly appreciated. Let’s check out the latest on the situation and hear what the prosecutor has to say.
Justice, Not Violence
Karen Skaggs’s message to the prosecutor is simple. She wants justice.
I just want justice for my brother. And I don’t feel like this is being taken seriously enough. Something needs to happen before this happens to someone else.
One thing Skaggs does not want to see is anyone else getting hurt.
“I definitely don’t want any violence. That serves no purpose. I just want justice, absolutely no violence.”
I relayed that message to the prosecutor.
Shane Tieman offered his condolences and asked for patience at a difficult time.
“Please extend my deepest sympathies to Ms. Skaggs. She is welcome to call and set up an appointment to see me. I know that people have little patience and a distrust for law enforcement, but I’d ask for her to give us time to make sure we have a thorough and complete investigation.”
When I spoke to Skaggs, she was grateful for his response and said she would contact him on Monday.
Sources told Scioto County Daily News the Prosecutor’s Office is furious that they were not immediately notified of Kevin Bailey’s injuries. Our source said that Tieman learned of the incident by watching a newscast a week after it happened.
The Prosecutor’s Office serves as Scioto County’s legal representative. Even in the case of an accident, they should have been immediately notified. In the case of life-threatening injuries, it would be unthinkable not to clue them in.
Other outlets have named the guards allegedly involved in the incident publicly. SCDN has had that information for some time. We’ve not named names because we had no confirmation officially or through a video that these were the individuals involved. And even if they were, making that information public could have serious consequences:
- Tainting the investigation and offering grounds for appeal
- Putting the lives of those guards, their family members, and neighbors at risk
Prosecutor Tieman said that he’s unable to comment on the situation other than to offer sympathies to Karen Skaggs.
“At this time, I can’t comment on the investigation or when I was notified. I can tell you my office will work with BCI and provide any assistance they need. Once their investigation is complete, they will submit it to our office. From there, I will review it and prepare any appropriate charges for consideration by the grand jury.”
He did say that he appreciated SCDN’s decision not to publicly name any jail personnel until the official investigation has been completed.
Where The Investigation Stands
The incident is currently under investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation. I reached out to the AG for comment but have not heard back.
Karen Skaggs said she had been contacted by the AG’s office. She also said the coroner told her that “The truth will come out at the autopsy.”