Family Suspects Son was Killed by Jail Guards

Family Suspects Son was Killed by Jail Guards

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Whit Johnson reportingSome serious allegations regarding the death of an inmate have prompted an investigation, and the family will stop at nothing to reveal the truth. The inmate who died was 26-year-old Chad Peterson.

Chad was battling drug problems for about five years. That's what eventually landed him in the Box Elder County Jail. But after Chad died, there were things his family saw and heard that, they say, didn't add up.

There have been nothing but unanswered questions for Kirt Peterson and his family. His son Chad died on Nov. 10 at the Box Elder County Jail. "The only good word that seems to cover it is we just feel numb. We're just numb," he said.

Chad was arrested for a parole violation. The sheriff's office said while inside his cell, Chad hanged himself using bed sheets. Chad's parents were outraged. They claim they told deputies that Chad had a history of depression and threatened suicide. "Put him in a room where he has access to hang himself? That doesn't sound like a suicide watch to me," Kirt said.

Then red flags began to surface. Kirt said, "When I went to see Chad after he came back from the state coroner's office, I just noticed some things that didn't look right."

Kirt says Chad looked as if he had been in an altercation, with strange bruising on his nose and neck. His suspicions escalated when information from the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office began to conflict.

Kirt's attorney was able to contact a few inmates and their family members who had an entirely different story. "He had witnessed an inmate be murdered," Kirt said.

The inmates claim guards beat Chad to the ground and stomped on the back of his neck. They say his lifeless body was then taken to a cell and hung up, and guards actually asked one of the inmates to help take him down.

Kirt says, "I want them to pay for doing that because they're the officials that aren't supposed to let this kind of stuff happen. I mean, where do you turn as a last resort for protection? It's the law."

Chad was the father of a 4-year-old girl. His family says he would do anything for the people that he loved.

The Box Elder County Sheriff's Office would not comment on the investigation, which is being conducted by Brigham City and Cache County.

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