INDIANAPOLIS – Today, State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) responded to a wrongful death lawsuit against the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, jail commander and jail staff. The lawsuit is being filed by Jerry Middleton, the partner of Markus Middleton, a gay and bipolar inmate who committed suicide in prison after being denied mental health treatment and enduring harassment over his sexuality.

“I hope Jerry Middleton is able to find justice for his deceased partner,” Sen. Ford said. “The sheriff’s department and county jail abandoned a Hoosier; they abused and shamed a human being. Can you imagine putting yourself in Markus’s shoes being stuck behind bars in constant torment with no one to turn to?

“Yes, Markus committed a crime, but he was forced into an even worse prison of abuse and harassment, all while suffering from his diagnosed mental condition. The Middletons deserve this justice, and I hope that the courts see the flagrant breach of the law that occurred in that prison. No human should be driven to suicide for being who they are.”