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Household of Inmate Who Died by Suicide in Virginia Jail Will get $1.75M From PsychIatrist



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The household of a person who died by suicide at a Virginia jail after his antipsychotic remedy was discontinued has acquired a $1.75 million settlement in a civil lawsuit.


Data at U.S. District Court docket in Alexandria present that the household of Christopher Lapp, who died in 2021 on the Alexandria jail, accepted the settlement supply Thursday from a psychiatrist who labored on the facility and was the goal of the swimsuit.

Lapp, who was 62 when he died, was being held on the jail awaiting sentencing on a federal cost for the armed theft of a Wells Fargo Financial institution in Nice Falls in November 2018. Lapp was bipolar and had a historical past of psychological well being issues, and the theft occurred throughout what the choose referred to as a manic episode and what his household’s lawyer described as a psychotic break.


He was initially discovered incompetent to face trial however was restored to competency after being despatched to the federal medical jail in Butner, North Carolina, the place he acquired psychological well being care.

Lapp then determined to plead responsible to the financial institution theft cost. Choose, T.S. Ellis III accepted the plea however ordered that Lapp be returned to Butner whereas he awaited sentencing so he might proceed remedy.


However Butner refused to take him again, saying it had a coverage towards accepting an inmate who had not but been sentenced for “continuity of care functions.”

Lapp remained on the Alexandria jail, and the psychiatrist who evaluated him there ended his medicines after Lapp insisted he didn’t want them.


Lapp hanged himself in his cell in Could 2021, roughly a month after his plea. In a notice left behind for his daughter, he wrote that “some unhealthy folks have been after me for some time.”

A month later Ellis chastised Butner officers throughout a listening to for disregarding his order. He additionally accepted a measure of blame himself — Lapp’s lawyer had filed discover to the court docket in late April that Butner refused to confess his consumer, however Ellis stated he was unaware that Lapp had not been transferred.


Final month a special choose dismissed the federal authorities as a defendant within the civil swimsuit however allowed the case to proceed towards the jail psychiatrist.

The settlement consists of no act of contrition or legal responsibility. In court docket papers, the psychiatrist’s attorneys argued, amongst different issues, that Lapp didn’t need to take the antipsychotic medicines and he had no means to pressure him.


The jail declined to remark Friday.

Lapp was a nuclear physicist who had a number of levels together with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how. His father, Ralph Lapp, was a scientist who labored on the Manhattan Challenge.


He lived in a rich Nice Falls neighborhood the place he owned a $1.3 million dwelling. Prosecutors stated in court docket papers that Lapp had a number of romantic pursuits, together with a Playboy mannequin, and “he was working to maintain his romantic love pursuits pleased with extra cash.”

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