Kenneth Trentadue was bruised and battered, but authorities declared his 1995 Oklahoma prison cell death a suicide. The family of the drug addict from Westminster, Ca., believes that a guard or fellow inmate killed him. Family members sued and win $1.1 million for emotional suffering.
The Los Angeles Times reports that nine years after the death, federal officials have abruptly reopened the case. The Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section is “conducting an ongoing review for the purpose of criminal law enforcement.” Such actions are rare, especially at this high a level in the department and after so much time has passed. It was Aug. 21, 1995, when a guard passed the cell of the 44-year-old bank robber and radioed for help, shouting, “I’ve got one hanging!”