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Death of teen at Kalamazoo youth home ruled a homicide; staff members charged

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 19:31:40-04

(WXYZ) — The suffocation death of a 16-year-old by staff at a Kalamazoo youth home has been ruled a homicide, according to the Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner's Office.

Now, the three youth facility staff members have been charged in the teen's death.

RELATED: State suspends license of Kalamazoo youth home where teen died after being restrained by staff

Cornelius Fredricks died May 1 after being restrained by staff at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo.

The teen's death was ultimately ruled a homicide as a result of "restraint asphyxia," according to Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner Ted Brown, M.D.

Trial lawyer Geoffrey Fieger called for the Kalamazoo prosecutor to bring murder charges against staff involved in Fredericks' death. saying "It is time for the perpetrators to come clean."

The three staff members are charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The youth orphanage where Fredericks was staying has lost its license. The estate of the teen has also brought a $100 million civil rights lawsuit against the home.