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Reason:Post: Prison Abuse At The McNeil Island Correction FacilityWe need to ask you and your Team of News Reporter and Staff
In All Matters concerning Leon Toney we are requesting them to be removed as you know cause you Reported Fri st Can you please remove My Son Name and address from your list This KIND OF INFORMATION IS PUTTING HIS Life Endanger and jeopardize his Privacy he has Been PARDON BY THE GOVERN of THE STATE OF WASHINGTON PLEASE REMOVE THOSE ADD and all web and News Feeds Storys that was reported, Thank you. Valerie Toney WE would Like a New Beginning and a Safe Life Tha s 253-335-2746
#OLYMPIA — Other people who had their convictions erased or sentences reduced by Gov. Chris Gregoire were:
#Scott Adam Spong, who served six months in work release after pleading guilty to third-degree assault and carrying a concealed weapon without a license in 2001. Spong pulled a gun after being jumped by a group of young men in the parking lot of a Thurston County fast-food restaurant and fired, even though the beating had stopped. One attacker was wounded.
#Spong went on to serve five years in the U.S. Army, including 15 months in Iraq. Spong has been barred from working with disabled children because of the felony conviction, Gregoire noted.
#Gary Gray broke into a Kitsap County apartment and stole $50 in 1982, when he was 20, and he was convicted of possessing a stolen motorbike in Pierce County the next year. He moved to Alaska and worked in the fishing industry before working his way up to senior captain in the Unalaska Fire Department. Gray and his wife recently returned to Washington state. He hopes to become a fire investigator, but such positions require law enforcement and firearms training.
#Diana Vandenberg-Hansen was having trouble with alcoholism when she stole $7,000 from the Edmonds bank where she worked as a teller in 2003, and she racked up two shoplifting convictions. She enrolled in an alcohol abuse treatment program and decided to help others fighting alcoholism, obtaining a certificate in alcohol and chemical dependency counseling.
#Kevin Dean Walker was convicted of domestic violence and malicious mischief after grabbing his wife’s throat during an argument and subsequently kicking the window out of a police cruiser. He organizes charitable events as president of his motorcycle social club, the Seattle Iron Indians, and volunteers to provide motor escorts for military funerals, Gregoire wrote.
#Mirella Camarena-Rocha, a native of Mexico and graduate of Mount Vernon High School, has been a lawful U.S. resident since 2001. Her two shoplifting convictions from when she was 18 threatened possible deportation proceedings, though she has a husband and son in Washington.
#David W. Reed, who was convicted of breaking into an auto-wrecking yard in 1964, when he was 19. He retired after 20 years as a Pierce County Fire District firefighter in 1996, and later moved to Oklahoma, which requires a full pardon before felons from other states can be allowed to have guns.
#Along with Johnny Ray Stewart, Gregoire also issued conditional commutations to:
#Stonney Marcus Rivers, who racked up his final strike for a motel room robbery in 1996 and has since served 17 years in prison. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg says the county now charges cases differently, to avoid life sentences for people with low-level criminal histories, as Rivers had. If he agrees to the terms of the commutation his sentence will end in January 2015.
#Ethan Corbett Durden, who led a group that burglarized the homes of drug-dealers at gunpoint in 1997, believing the victims wouldn’t call police. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He has participated in drug and alcohol counseling and has written letters urging young people to avoid the mistakes he made. His sentence will end in September 2015 if he complies with the conditions.
#Leon Glennquaree Toney III, whose prison suicide attempt left him in a persistent vegetative state.
Forum: Prison / Police Industrial Complex
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Valerie Toney, center, prays for her son, Leon Toney who’s gravely ill at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. Leon’s wife Rene Matthews-Toney, left, and Leon’s sister, Domainquie Toney, right, hold Leon’s hands to comfort him. They want to learn more about his injury.
Leon Toney with his wife, Rene Matthews-Toney, and their children Dasheion, 9, at left, and Jalen, 8, during a happier time.
Family wants answers in inmate's hospitalization
A husband, brother and son spent 12 years in prison. Now he’s in a coma.
IAN DEMSKY; email@example.com
Published: October 17th, 2008 01:59 AM | Updated: October 17th, 2008 07:14 AM
Leon Toney drifts in limbo between two worlds – justice meted out by the state and healing at the hands of his doctors.
The 31-year-old McNeil Island prison inmate has been in a coma since Sept. 18 when, according to records, he hanged himself in a segregation cell and was brought back to life by corrections staff members.
His family has practically made a home of the sixth-floor waiting room at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. Through their eyes, the last few weeks have been a battle for Toney’s recovery and for answers.
They knew he had been caught with contraband and were worried that whoever was smuggling it in might have wanted to silence him.
From the state Department of Corrections perspective, the incident is straightforward. Officials, however, declined to discuss the specifics of what happened, with The News Tribune or with Toney’s family as long as the incident is under review.
Last week, 21 days after Toney was flown to the hospital at the brink of death, the Corrections Department completed its review and affirmed its preliminary findings of attempted suicide.
Toney was 12 years into a 28-year assault and burglary sentence. At 19, he was convicted of shooting a man in the stomach after he and several others went to a Tacoma home to settle a score over $45 worth of sewing, court records say.
He was not someone who would have tried to take his own life, family members said.
“There’s not even a question,” said Toney’s aunt, Charrene Robinson, who flew in from San Diego.
Family members said Toney had a wide support network and recently cleared a major hurdle in a legal appeal to get his sentence reduced.
REPORT GIVES TIMELINE
The prison’s review of the incident found no foul play.
According to the review: Just after midnight Sept. 18, a corrections officer on rounds heard an inmate talking to a woman inside his cell. It turned out he was talking on a cell phone, which officers confiscated.
On the phone officials found photos of Toney “in his cell naked” and snapshots of nude women. Officers searched Toney’s cell, found a charger that fit the phone and moved him to a segregation cell.
A time line assembled from video surveillance cameras showed Toney was placed in the segregation cell on F-Unit at 5:31 a.m. He was given breakfast at 7:02 a.m., and his tray was picked up an hour later.
He stuck a note, known as a kite, for mental health staff members in his door and a nurse came to talk to him about 10:25 a.m.
“I asked him if there was anything I could do for him,” nurse Katherine Fish wrote in an incident report. “He said he hadn’t slept in two or three days. … (He) told me his thoughts were keeping him awake. I asked him if it was because he was just placed in F-Unit. He said no, he’d had trouble sleeping a couple nights before that.”
After Toney told Fish he was not planning to harm himself, she said she’d make sure the mental heath unit got the kite and would check on him at noon.
Officers serving lunch discovered Toney, a bed sheet around his neck, hanging from his TV stand at 11:41 a.m.
He had no pulse. Officers pulled him down and brought him out into the dayroom where they started CPR. He was revived, taken to a helipad and then to the hospital.
“After reviewing the camera footage from F-Unit there is no evidence of any staff misconduct,” the report states.
FLOW OF INFORMATION
Family members say corrections officials kept them in the dark for weeks.
“If it’s such an open-and-shut case, why won’t they tell us anything?” Toney’s wife, Rene, wondered as the days ticked by.
Since the department’s review, Toney’s relatives remain skeptical of the official version of events and frustrated by the indifference they said they’ve been shown.
They said many questions were left unanswered and that the department has been misleading. For example, the “naked” photos of Toney showed him only from the waist up.
“Leon Toney is not DOC No. 74586 to us,” said Toney’s sister, Domainquie Butler, 32. “He is my only brother, my mom’s only son. He is a father, a husband, a nephew, a cousin, as well as friend to many, and no human should be treated this way.”
Toney’s mother, Valerie, who lives in Tacoma, said the family first found out Toney had been hurt when inmates contacted them using illicit cell phones. They immediately called the prison, but had a hard time getting any information.
The report states associate superintendent Sean Murphy told staff members, “People of his family have been calling and seeking information. Do not disclose any information to anyone. Refer them to (public information officer) Judy Hubert.”
Prison officials explained in an Oct. 3 e-mail to the family that federal law allowed them to release information only to a designated emergency contact, in this case, Rene.
“They told me to go to the hospital,” she said in a recent interview. “But they wouldn’t even tell me if he was alive or dead.”
Once there, Rene said, she was told her husband had tried to kill himself, but prison officials wouldn’t provide details.
The department told the family a headquarters-level review would be conducted. That report was released Oct. 9. It affirmed initial findings and added new details that Toney might have been under mental strain.
“It is suspected that Mr. Toney had complex ‘prison business’ interests and gang affiliations that may have contributed stress to his life,” the report said.
FAMILY QUESTIONS MEDICAL CARE
When Toney arrived at St. Joseph, his prospects for recovery were grim, and doctors were throwing around words like “brain dead” and “organ donation,” said Butler, his sister, who flew in from Hutto, Texas, to be at her brother’s side.
Under Corrections Department policy the family is consulted on major medical decisions, but Toney’s relatives said they frequently felt like they didn’t have much control.
Rene, who married Toney when they were both 19, said that one night she camped out in the waiting room and called the nurses station at the other end of the floor every hour to find out if his condition had changed. She said she was repeatedly told everything was fine, but the next morning a doctor told her Toney had been having seizures throughout the night.
In the following days, the Corrections Department granted Toney a “compassionate release,” otherwise known as a medical furlough, which can be revoked if and when he gets better. It allows Toney to be supervised by a community corrections officer, rather than a bedside guard.
The family wants to see Toney’s sentence commuted so they can pursue additional treatment options for him beyond what the Corrections Department and hospital officials feel is needed and are willing to pay for.
Family members say they know the odds are long, but continue to hope that Toney will recover.
“The doctor summed it up in four words,” Rene said. “‘He’s not brain dead.’”
Ian Demsky: 253-597-8872