CAHOKIA, Illinois (KMOV) Authorities say a 41-year-old Cahokia man is accused of killing another inmate while in jail.
A St. Clair County judge set Mark Luster’s bail at $2 million on Monday. Authorities say Luster is charged with first-degree murder.
Cahokia Police say Luster was being held at the Cahokia jail when Timothy Johnson, 25, of Granite City was found unresponsive Sunday in the cell he shared with Luster and a third man. Johnson was described as cold to the touch when an officer delivering lunch found him lying face down in a cell.
An ambulance was called to the jail, but authorities pronounced Johnson dead at the scene.
Authorities reviewed the in-cell camera and say Johnson died after being strangled by Luster during a physical altercation.
Johnson’s family says he had cerebral palsy and couldn’t walk or stand without crutches. The family says his crutches were taken away and he was defenseless against the other inmates in his cell without them.
Johnson had been arrested at a Walmart in Cahokia. His family says he had gone there to shop but was too tired to walk home on his crutches. He got on a scooter for disabled customers and was arrested while trying to ride it to his house.
His family met with an attorney Tuesday afternoon about a possible wrongful lawsuit. The family wants to know why the jail staff did not do a better job monitoring the inmates.
There are no microphones in the jail so no one could have heard the altercation. But there is a surveillance camera and the police dispatcher has a screen nearby to keep an eye on the inmates.
Cahokia police say the incident is just an unfortunate, but rare, violent outburst by an inmate.
Johnson’s death remains under investigation.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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