|(Pictured above: Sean (l.) with Gerald (r.) and their father, former lead singer of the 1970s soul group The O’Jays, Eddie Levert (c.)|
Angela Lowe, the widow of Gerald Levert’s brother, Sean Levert, is pressing on with a wrongful death lawsuit despite prosecutors’ decision not to file criminal charges in the March 30th death of Mr. Levert.
Prosecutors say they came to their decision after conducting an internal investigation and finding no evidence of criminal conduct. On Tuesday (Sept. 16) they released a 162-page document detailing the investigation as well as a 3-minute video that shows Mr. Levert, an hour before his death, being strapped into a restraint chair for the second time that day. He was placed in the restraint chair earlier that day after hallucinating that his son had fallen into a pool outside his cell window.
The attorney for Ms. Lowe, Dennis Niermann, was quoted as saying that the “finding of no criminal wrongdoing” would not inhibit their case because the suit “focuses on civil wrongdoings … one has absolutely nothing to do with another,”
Mr. Levert was serving a 22-month sentence last spring for failure to pay child support when he became sick. He was taken to a local hospital where he died. Ms. Lowe has alleged her husband did not receive the adequate and timely medical assistance he needed. She also contends that Mr. Levert suffered from severe anxiety and officials failed to give him his prescribed medication to keep it in check. Christine Dubber, manager of health care services for the county jail, told investigators that inmates are not permitted to take Xanax without authorization from a jail psychiatrist. Mr. Levert was scheduled for an April 8 evaluation.
County Coroner Frank Miller ruled out foul play and attributed Mr. Levert’s death to sarcoidosis, the inflammatory lung disease that claimed the life of comedian Bernie Mac last month, and sourced other conditions the 39-year-old suffered from including heart disease.
Sean Levert’s older brother, R&B signer Gerald Levert was found dead on November 10, 2006 at the age of 40. An autopsy concluded the LSG group member died from a fatal combination of prescription narcotics and over-the-counter drugs.