Jail inmate who jumped must pay his own bills

SANDUSKY The Erie County Jail inmate who tried to commit suicide Tuesday must pay his own medical bi
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

The Erie County Jail inmate who tried to commit suicide Tuesday must pay his own medical bills.

Erie County Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette ruled Thursday to temporarily release inmate Timothy Thayer so his medical care is not on the county's tab.

Not long after pleading guilty to felonious assault and gun charges and receiving a prison sentence of seven years, Thayer jumped head first off a second-floor walkway at Erie County Jail, slamming his skull into the floor.

Jail administrators said officers arrived within 30 seconds and administered CPR on Thayer, who had stopped breathing.

Although Thayer was conscious and communicating with people Thursday at Toledo's St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, the neurological damage he received could mean expensive treatments, said Sheriff Capt. Paul Sigsworth.

"He received critical spinal cord injuries," Sigsworth said. "It could get very, very expensive."

Sigsworth said Thayer agreed Thursday to a personal recognizance bond issued by Binette that technically gives Thayer his freedom as long as he remains in the hospital, which may be awhile.

Thayer couldn't move or sign the bond, but indicated to Erie County Jail Capt. Todd Dempsey that he understood the terms and agreed to the conditions, Sigsworth said.

"He was told by executing this bond he would be able to make his own decisions regarding his medical care," Sigsworth said. "It gives Mr. Thayer the freedom to decide what treatment options he would like because of his condition."

But it also means Thayer foots the bill for his own treatment, letting the county financially off the hook.

Sigsworth said, that as far as he knows, Thayer is not employed and does not have medical insurance.

"He may be receiving Medicaid," Sigsworth said.

Thayer was in jail awaiting sentencing for a January incident during which he assaulted members of his family, pointing a shotgun he believed was loaded at the head of one family member and pulling the trigger.

He was originally charged with attempted murder, but pleaded guilty to amended charges.