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Suspect sent to solitary for 22 months gets $15.5M settlement

Posted Mar 11, 2013 10:03 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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A New Mexico man who was arrested for driving under the influence and ended up in solitary confinement without any court proceeding for 22 months has reached a $15.5 million settlement.

Not long after Stephen Slevin was arrested, there was a determination that he was depressed and a suicide risk, a pair of concerns that led Dona Ana County jail authorities to place him in solitary confinement, then forget about him, National Public Radio reports.

Slevin reportedly never had a court appearance and even though a doctor was regularly writing prescriptions, he was never examined. NPR notes that the ordeal led to deteriorating mental and physical health. After being denied access to a dentist, Slevin pulled his own tooth.

The settlement comes after jurors in Santa Fe awarded Slevin $22 million in January, according to NBC's KOB-4TV.

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