The Florida corrections sergeant accused of threatening a female inmate who died last week at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala is being questioned by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, reports the Miami Herald. The inmate, Latandra Ellington, turned up dead on Oct. 1, 10 days after writing a letter to her aunt that detailed how a Lowell corrections officer — she knew him only as “Sgt. Q” — had repeatedly threatened to beat and kill her.
The sergeant being questioned is Patrick Quercioli, and he has been placed on modified duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Union sources said Quercioli was on vacation and not on duty when Ellington died. Officials released an incident report on the death on Wednesday, but nearly every detail was redacted. Ellington, a mother of four, was to be released in seven months after serving a 22-month sentence for grand theft. She was in confinement, separated from the general population, at the time of her death because the prison officials said they had taken her family's concerns about the alleged threats “seriously.”