HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s been more than a month since a Dauphin County inmate died in prison custody, but for his family, that feels more like an eternity.
They hoped to get answers by meeting with Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo on Thursday but said at a news conference they left with more questions than answers.
“People don’t go to jail to die, and that’s what happened with Ty’Rique here,” said Kevin Mincey, an attorney for Ty’Rique Riley’s family.
Thirteen days after entering Dauphin County prison, the 21-year-old was dead. His mother remembers visiting him while he was on life support, the same day he was set to appear in court.
“I’ve never felt so helpless as I did staring at my son as he laid in that bed,” Carmen Riley said.
As he lied in that bed, Riley’s family noticed injuries all over his body.
Some of these wounds include deep cuts to the wrists, severe bruising on his chest and missing teeth.
“There was a very deep red bruise on his neck as if someone had either been choking him or holding him down,” Mincey said.
“Who hurt Ty’Rique? Who caused the cuts and bruises and internal damage to Ty’Rique?” Carmen Riley asked.
The “who” was just one of the family’s questions when they met with Chardo on Thursday to watch surveillance video from the morning of June 26, when prison staff determined Riley needed serious medical treatment.
“When they’re wheeling him to the medical unit, they’re just wheeling him through like it’s just a regular day,” Mincey said.
The footage only showed three hours of his time in custody, but the family wants to see more. Chardo said he’s doing what he can.
“[I am trying to] help a grieving family, and so I wanted to extend that to them so I showed them as much video as I could,” Chardo said.
What Chardo can do is not enough for Riley’s family. Their lawyers want Chardo to recuse himself since he’s on the prison board committee.
Chardo said he did seek the attorney general’s opinion.
“They indicated that there was no conflict of interest and they would not assume jurisdiction because this is our case. Listen, I can’t step aside, this is our responsibility,” Chardo said.
Riley’s family said it’s their responsibility to fight.
“We’re not gonna stop until we get answers,” Ross said.