When Matthew Ajibade walked into Chatham County Jail on a domestic violence charge on January 1st, little did he know that he had taken his last breath of the cool Georgian winter air. That evening, within the walls of the notable county jail tucked away in historic Savannah, Ajibade was found dead, strapped to a chair.
According to ABC 7 News, Ajibade, a 21-year-old Savannah College of Art and Design student, was originally arrested after a dispute with his girlfriend. During the altercation, Ajibade injured three deputies and initial reports show Ajibade had been stunned with a Taser while he was restrained; he was then left unmonitored in an isolation cell, where his body was discovered. On Wednesday, a grand jury charged former jail employees Maxine Evans and Jason Kenny and contract health care worker Gregory Brown with aggravated assault and cruelty to an inmate. (Additionally, Evans and Brown are charged with public record fraud, while Brown faces a third charge of making a false statement.) According the grand jury, the log book had been falsified to state routine checks were conducted on the inmate’s cell.
The victim's family released a copy of the death certificate, which ruled homicide caused by blunt-force trauma. Chatham County Coroner Dr. Bill Wessinger concluded Ajibade suffered several blows to his head and upper body and some blood was found in his skull case. Florida defense lawyer Mark O'Mara was adamant that Ajibade, who suffered from bipolar disorder, and was having a manic episode when jail deputies "beat the (expletive) of him to get control of him." As for the indictments of Evans, Kenny and Brown, O'Mara said it's "too little too late": He believes Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap should have already pursued a felony murder charge based on the fact the grand jury found that there was aggravated assault, the direct cause of Ajibade's death.