Sisters share their experience following inmate death at Marion County Jail

Pattie Stephens and Elizabeth Feltz lost their brother less than two months before his sentence was set to end
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 5:47 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) -The death of 46-year-old inmate Scott Whitley III at the Marion County Jail is reminding some of a situation that is all too familiar.

Two sisters, Pattie Stephens and Elizabeth Feltz, lost their brother when he was serving time at the Marion County Jail for driving without a license. They say that both Whitley and their brother’s death was part of a pattern of neglect going on inside the jail.

“He said Michael laid on the floor for 55 minutes begging for help,” said Stephens. “He knew that he needed to go to the hospital and he could not get medical attention. He was denied, neglected, and was not taken to the hospital until other inmates started screaming ‘if you don’t get this man help, he’s gonna die.”

Stephens and Feltz got all their information about what happened to their brother from inmates inside the jail. As far as what information they have gotten from the sheriff’s office?

“Absolutely nothing,” said Stephens. “They’ve never spoken to us, other than to call my sister and say that he was taken to the hospital.”

Feltz says the only other contact she had with a sheriff’s deputy seemed manipulative.

“[A detective] called me and basically tried to force me to say that what happened to Michael was medical in nature--which part it was, he had a bowel blockage--but he was begging them every day to take him to the hospital.”

In Whitley’s case, information has also been scarce.

Deputies denied TV 20′s request for more details or video of the incident.

They cited Marsey’s Law, saying that the deputies were victims of a crime. However, none of the deputies suffered serious injuries.

Both Feltz and Stephens want to see some accountability for what they believe is the continued mistreatment of inmates.

“I would like to see Marion County Jail overhauled by somebody who knows what they’re doing,” said Feltz.

The sisters know nothing will bring their brother back, but they want to do what they can to make sure nobody has to experience the pain they have gone through.

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