Family of strangled inmate reaches settlement over death Delaware man, 28, died in jail in 1992 HARFORD COUNTY

April 21, 1993|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

The lawyer for the family of a 28-year-old Delaware man who died in his cell at the Harford Detention Center on March 1, 1992, said a settlement has been reached with the county.

William F. Gately, the Towson attorney representing the family of William Martin Ford, said yesterday that the out-of-court agreement should be completed this week.

Earnest Crowfoot, attorney for Harford County, confirmed that the settlement is imminent.

Mr. Gately said that, "at the county's request," he would not reveal the amount of the settlement.

Mr. Ford was serving a 30-day sentence at the Detention Center for drunken driving when he was found dead in his cell.

He had been strangled, according to a medical examiner's report.

Despite investigations by the sheriff's office, the Harford state's attorney and the FBI, no one has been charged.

The Ford death, the firing of a jail guard for alleged sexual relations with an inmate and other allegations of mismanagement at the Detention Center prompted County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann and Harford State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly to ask Gov. William Donald Schaefer to order the state's attorney general to investigate the facility.

Mr. Gately said the family of Mr. Ford has asked him to work with the attorney general's office to uncover what happened the afternoon Mr. Ford died.

"The family is extremely distressed by the inability of the state's attorney to bring this matter to a successful conclusion," Mr. Gately said.

The out-of-court settlement that Mr. Gately announced yesterday does not preclude criminal charges being brought against one or more persons who may have caused Mr. Ford's death.

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