Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has initiated internal affairs investigations involving two separate in-custody death incidents.
“Based upon the results we have received from the initial inquiries into the deaths of Inmate Kelly Damon Harding (DOB 4/29/65) and detainee Thomas Morrow (DOB 10/4/53), I believe there are agency policy violations that require in-depth review by Internal Affairs,” the Sheriff said, “and I also see a possibility for discipline for some members involved in these cases.”
On July 6, 2013, Thomas Morrow was being transported to the Pinellas County Jail after being arrested by Treasure Island Police. Morrow was intoxicated and was severely injured by a second detainee, Leonard Lanni (DOB 7/9/76) during an altercation in the transport van. The perpetrator, Lanni, was drunk and disorderly at the time. According to the Sheriff, “We intend to determine whether our policies requiring inmate restraint and separation in the transport van were followed – and to also review our training in this regard.” The incident occurred shortly after the firm G4S was contracted by the Sheriff’s Office to provide the prisoner transport services.
On July 21, 2013, jail inmate Kelly Damon Harding was strangled by his cellmate Scott Alexander Greenberg (DOB 10/19/84), when Greenberg forced wet toilet paper down Harding’s throat. Greenberg has been charged with murder in this case. Along with the death investigation, Sheriff Gualtieri ordered a review of jail booking and classification policies in late July. “Based upon what we have learned, these two inmates should never have been housed together. We believe there was a serious lapse in classification policy compliance here. We intend to further investigate the actions of those responsible.”
All documentation from the two death investigations will be turned over to Administrative Investigations.
According to the Sheriff, once the internal investigations are complete, any disciplines that may result will be made public and posted on the agency’s website, where all agency disciplinary actions are currently posted.
Please see the links below for the original news releases: