An inmate was "eaten alive by insects" due to the negligence of "inhumane" prison staff, an autopsy has confirmed.
Lashawn Thompson, who was awaiting trial for battery against police officials, was left in a cell which contributed to his mental decline and eventual death.
Forensic evidence shows Thompson's death was now a matter of homicide after his body showed clear signs of malnourishment and insect infestation following on from severe neglect, a coroner confirmed.
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Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing Thompson's family, claims the prison staff's inaction and "inhumanity" led to the death of the prisoner in what was described as "one of the most horrific cases we have seen."
Describing the results of the autopsy, attorney Crump said: "These autopsy findings confirm that Lashawn was killed by the extreme neglect of the Fulton County Jail and its staff.
"He was dehydrated, malnourished, and his body was infested inside and out with insects — it is truly one of the most horrific cases we have seen."
Thompson was placed on a psychiatric wing after officials determined he was suffering from schizophrenia, and just three months later, the man was dead, New York Post reported.
Public records since obtained by the attorney claim prison staff were aware of the grim conditions inside Thompson's cell.
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Plans to transfer the prisoner from one cell to another were in the works but proved futile once officials realised the man had died, eaten to death by bugs in a filthy lock-up.
Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat has since spoken on the horror death, but believes it is "incredibly difficult" to meet required safety standards.
He said: "It’s no secret that the dilapidated and rapidly eroding conditions of the current facility make it incredibly difficult to meet the goal of providing a safe, clean, well-maintained and healthy environment for all inmates and staff."
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Atlanta Police Department's investigations into the prison and Thompson's death are ongoing.
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