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‘I’m going to die in here’: CT inmate granted early release dies from coronavirus, family says DOC ignored his cries for help

Coronavirus

OSBORN, Conn. (WTNH) — The family of a Connecticut inmate approved for discretionary release last month but who died from coronavirus said the Connecticut Department of Corrections ignored his cries for help.

Carlos Deleon, 62, was serving a two-year sentence at the Osborn Correctional Institute for charges including criminal possession of a firearm and threatening.

The department of corrections said his release was delayed because they could not find an appropriate home to sponsor him. His sister Isabel said that is not true.

RELATED: DOC confirms first inmate death to coronavirus in Connecticut, ACLU says state not doing enough to protect inmates

“We even called the parole officer again and we told her, ‘what is going on with Carlos’ and she said ‘I already submitted the papers. Carlos said they are giving me the run around.'”

At first, Isabel said Deleon did not know the pandemic was escalating on the outside.

Isabel said, “He said its not that bad because we are not even wearing gloves or masks.”

“I’m telling him, ‘are you kidding me? I’m afraid for you to come home…We have to wear gloves and masks.'”

After a few short weeks, Isabel said he developed a fever of 101 degrees and would send letters to his counselor asking to see a doctor.

She said he would call her every day and tell her he was having trouble breathing and thought he had it.

“He said, I’m going to die in here.”

Within about two weeks, Deleon was taken to UConn Health Center, diagnosed with coronavirus, and intubated. His sister said he was a smoker and suffered from COPD.

RELATED: ACLU files federal lawsuit against Gov. Lamont, Dept. of Correction to protect incarcerated from coronavirus

“At 11 o’clock at night they call me from the hospital and they say you can come over and see Carlos and say your goodbyes.”

Carlos’ family said the Connecticut Department of Corrections should’ve moved faster.

“He’s not the perfect man in the world but he meant well. He had a big heart,” she added.

Since Deleon’s death, the ACLU has sued the State, saying, “This man did not have to die. His death was entirely preventable, and it is the direct result of callous inaction by Governor Lamont and the Department of Corrections, including their refusal to institute a real plan to release people and decision not to fully fund reentry support.”

It was announced Tuesday that the ACLU had filed another federal class-action lawsuit against the state and Governor Lamont.

RELATED: ACLU files federal lawsuit against Gov. Lamont, Dept. of Correction to protect incarcerated from coronavirus

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