A judge has sentenced a former prison captain who let a mentally ill inmate die slowly for hours after eating a toxic detergent ball to five years in prison. Former Rikers jailer Terrence Pendergrass did not call a doctor after Jason Echevarria ingested the soap given to him to clean his cell after it flooded with sewage, a decision Manhattan federal Judge Ronnie Abrams excoriated Pendergrass for when announcing the sentence, according to the Daily News.
Mr. Pendergrass, I don't doubt how difficult your job as a correction officer was. But one thing would not have been difficult: to allow Mr. Echevarria to see a doctor. A man died here—a 25-year-old man—because of your indifference and your callousness. As a result of your refusal ... he needlessly suffered for hours as his insides literally burned.
The five-year prison term is twice the guideline-recommended sentence, but half the maximum possible, according to Newsday. A family member told the News he wished that Prendergrass would serve a longer bid.
"He's not a human being. I hope he has a hard time in jail," Ramon Echevarria told the tabloid.