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Family files suit in Montevideo man’s death in prison

MONTEVIDEO — A family of a Montevideo man has filed a lawsuit in federal court after he died in custody at the Lino Lakes state prison, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported on Saturday.

David Picard, 32, died Jan. 8, 2013, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul of acute bilateral pneumonia and sepsis. He had been taken by ambulance to the hospital after corrections officers found him at his cell door “gasping and wheezing, trying to speak,’’ the newspaper reported.

The lawsuit alleges that Picard had sought emergency care for respiratory ailments five times over a three-day period before his death without being allowed access to a doctor.

Picard was just weeks from release from prison when he died. He was serving a four-month sentence for a probation violation resulting from a previous burglary conviction in Lac qui Parle County.

According to Tribune archives, Picard was charged in April 2011 as a suspect in a string of garage burglaries in the region. He had allegedly been involved in burglaries reported in Montevideo, Boyd, Dawson, Madison, rural Chippewa County and in Watertown S.D.

He was allegedly involved in an April 2011 theft of guns and tools from a garage in Dawson and a laptop computer from a truck parked outside. Also charged in that incident was Buford “Bucky” Rogers of Montevideo, 24. Rogers is currently in federal custody on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of possessing “unregistered destructive devices.”

The lawsuit accuses staff with the Minnesota Department of Corrections with negligence for repeatedly failing to provide Picard with proper medical care.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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