Involuntary manslaughter charge dropped for Westland police sergeant charged in inmate's death

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jan 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-22 15:37:07-05

WESTLAND, Mich. (WXYZ) — The involuntary manslaughter charge against a Westland police sergeant charged in the death of an inmate has been dropped, a judge ruled during a hearing on Tuesday.

Sgt. Ronald Buckley was charged with involutary manslaughter and misconduct in office in the death of William Marshall. The misconduct in office charge was bound over to court.

Two EMTs, Matt Dicosola and Leah Maynard, were also charged with the same counts, but it's not clear if the judge dropped the manslaughter charges for them.

Defense attorneys for Maynard and Dicosola told the judge in Dearborn Heights District Court, who is presiding over the trio's preliminary examination, that their clients had also not been informed that Marshall had ingested the drug when they were called to evaluate his condition.

On jail video, Marshall is seen laid out on the ground, at times attempting to get the attention of police officers before a man, identified as Sgt. Buckley, pulls Marshall off of the door and pushes him further inside the detox cell.

Marshall is also seen convulsing on the floor of the cell.

Prosecutors said the sergeant and two paramedics could see that Marshall was in distress and denied him medical treatment even when he was asking for help.

The preliminary examination is set to resume Tuesday when a former inmate who tried to help Marshall could take the stand.

Marshall was arrested on Dec. 10, 2017 and taken into custody in the Westland Police Department at 6:39 a.m.

At 7:51 a.m., Worthy said Marshall began to convulse and have muscle spasms, and EMTs were called and arrived at 8:02 a.m.

Marshall told the paramedics that he was having a seizure, and he was dragged from his cell into the hallway. Worthy said that neither the medics or the sergeant did nothing.

He eventually died with his cause of death being ruled cocaine toxicity.

Worthy said the EMTs and sergeant showed an "inexcusable and criminal disregard for human life."

Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik released this statement:

I would like to begin by thanking the Michigan State Police Department and the Wayne County Prosecutors Office for independently investigating this matter for us. I am extremely confident that these agencies conducted a thorough and detailed investigation. I again want to offer my sincere apology to the William Marshall family for their loss. The charges today against the City of Westland police officer are taken seriously by the department and the City administration. The officer charged today has been suspended pending the Departmental investigation and discipline. We will provide the police union the necessary notice of our intention to conduct and finalize our investigation into this matter. After the investigation, we will take the necessary discipline up to and including termination of the officer. The Westland Police Department has implemented changes to department’s policies and procedures regarding prisoner incarceration. The Department has provided additional training to its employees and will continue to do so to ensure that something like this never happens again.