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Perez, county face lawsuit in detainee death

Published: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

The mother of a 20-year-old detainee who died last year in the Kane County Jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and Sheriff Pat Perez.

Keith D. Renfroe Jr., of Cottage Grove, Minn., was found lying face down and unresponsive in his cell May 19, 2012, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office at the time. Renfroe was transferred to Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where he was admitted to intensive care. 

Renfroe died May 24 after he was removed from life support, officials said.

The lawsuit, filed late last month by Lashawnda Renfroe, accuses Perez and jail personnel of not monitoring Renfroe properly. The suit seeks in excess of $50,000.

“Kane County had him in their custody,” said David Robertson, Renfroe’s attorney. “He was in a cell by himself. Obviously, I don’t know the mindset of the correctional officers at that time, I don’t know what they were or were not doing. These are all questions that need to be answered.”

Perez said he could not comment on pending litigation.

Renfroe was arrested by Gilberts police on charges of felony trespass to a residence May 18. He was held on $15,000 bond and was to appear in court May 25 – the day after he was removed from life support.

According to court records, Renfroe entered a residence in the 200 block of Rockville Lane in Gilberts by breaking a front window, knowing that there were people in the house, and remained there, refusing to leave until police were called.

The parties are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 15.

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