Questions arise after high-profile inmate's suicide


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on October 21, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 22 at 8:04 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – An investigation is underway after the suicide of a high profile inmate at Louisville Department of Metro Corrections.

Mahmoud Hindi was facing double murder charges after killing two men at a homeowner’s association meeting last year.

Now questions surround his sudden death and why he wasn't placed on suicide watch.

55-year-old Mahmoud Hindi was found in his cell shortly before 4 pm on Saturday hanging from a bedsheet in his cell. Metro Corrections Director Mark Bolton says when he was checked in 10 minutes before there were no signs something was wrong.

"At 3:30 or 3:40 he was seen praying in his cell. After that he was observed sitting in his cell with no signs of distress. Then he was found at 3:55 actually in distress,” Mark Bolton, Director of LDMC said.

Hindi was awaiting trial on charges he killed 73-year-old David Merritt and 69-year-old Marvin Fisher at a homeowner’s association meeting last year. Hindi was not on a suicide watch but was segregated in his own cell from the rest of the population because he was unable to get along with other inmates.

Corrections officials say there was not a surveillance camera in his cell but a fixed camera in the area. It will be reviewed in the course of this investigation.

Bolton also confirms that he was seeing mental health staff on a regular basis but was not placed on a suicide watch.

“He was seen by medical staff on a daily basis. He was seen by mental health staff on a regular basis .He was offered medication on a regular basis," Bolton said.

Katharine Dobbins with Wellspring does not know the details of Hindi's health but his family has admitted in the past he suffered from mental health issues. Dobbins says had this been addressed the outcome for all parties involved could have been very different.

“If he had gotten adequate treatment early on it could have made a difference. It's hard to know we can't predict," Dobbins said.

The families for the victims as well as Hindi's family could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, LMPD is conducting an investigation by the public integrity unit and corrections will also seek an independent investigation.