Red Flags Ignored in Inmate Suicide

Red Flags Ignored in Inmate Suicide

Some people kill themselves and no one saw it coming. Keith Kosirog, 39, was not one of those people. His was a life full of extraordinary misfortune, and by the time he finally succeeded in taking his own life at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility (“CNMCF”), he had unsuccessfully attempted to do so at least 14 times.

The questions surrounding his death is not why did he commit suicide, but why didn’t his prior history raise red flags at the prison and the company running the state’s prison medical services, Centurion Correctional Healthcare of New Mexico (“CCHNM”)? Perhaps a lawsuit filed by his two sons and their mother will provide some answers.

A Tragic Family History

At age 4, Kosirog became the youngest person in Missouri ever to testify at a murder trial. The person on trial was his father, whom he witnessed killing his mother and another man. The youngster was left alone with the bodies until his older siblings came home from school. One of this sisters later killed herself, and various members of the family were diagnosed as bipolar. Kosirog himself was diagnosed with various mental illnesses over the years, including:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Delusional disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal ideation

He was also diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. This was a person with a long history of severe mental issues who spent time in mental institutions during his 30s, and often put on suicide watch. He did manage to serve in the armed forces as a Marine, and became a diesel mechanic after leaving the service. Still, anyone who knew him could tell something was the matter. He was ill.

Filing for Divorce

Kosirog did marry, but his wife filed for divorce after 4.5 years, citing domestic abuse. If he was able to hold a tenuous grasp on reality after his marriage, that seems to collapse after the divorce filing. He started posting incomprehensible rants on Facebook and equally strange videos on YouTube.

He was arrested on several occasions for stalking his wife’s parents, leaving all kinds of strange things on their property – including a fake message from Taylor Swift written on a bandage calling his father-in-law a “creep.” He sent threatening messages on pages torn from the Bible.

In 2016, he appeared at a stranger’s home and began destroying the property because he believed terrorists were in residence. He also called law enforcement repeatedly, telling them he was either going to commit suicide or initiate “death by cop.”

He also left large amounts of trash at another stranger’s home, including a Bible, and was accused of leaving a threatening message at the memorial site of a late local police officer. Although he was placed in a diversion program, that program ended in 2018 and Kosirog was placed in the county jail.

In Prison for Safekeeping

It’s not clear why a judge decided to send Kosirog to the CNMCF, but the official records state it was for “safekeeping.” Kosirog was sent to CNMCF in early August 2018, and four months later, he was found dead in his solitary confinement, having used a piece of fabric to hang himself. Reportedly, several hours went by before the body was found.

It was a sad end to a tragic life, but entirely preventable had he been placed on the one-on-one suicide watch the prison itself recommended for him. It wasn’t that the prison and CCHMN were unaware of his history, but they apparently decided to ignore the numerous red flags. The attorney representing his children and their mother says that medical care in the state’s correctional facilities is sub-par at best, and the state has taken little interest in prisoner mental health care.

Inmates have the right to proper medical treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered mistreatment in jail or prison, you have legal options and may be entitled to compensation. CALL US at 866.836.4684 or Connect Online to learn how we can help you file a federal civil rights lawsuit.


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