Attorneys representing family of inmate found unresponsive issue statement

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The family of the J. Reuben Long inmate who died of suicide while in transport is speaking out.

Evans Moore law firm, which representing the family, released a statement Friday, calling the incident ‘incomprehensible.’

Abed “Michael” Naqshabandi, 28, wrapped a seatbelt around his neck in a suicide while being transported back to J. Reuben Long.

He was pronounced dead Tuesday at Grand Strand Medical Center. The coroner ruled the death a suicide.

Now, the family is being represented by a law firm and looking for answers.

“It is a horrible thought to consider that this young man died within feet of the people there to supervise him,” Michael’s grandfather Richard Flaherty said.

His mother also shared her thoughts on her son’s death.

“We know that Michael is at peace now and we want to prevent this from happening to other families, to have other loved ones experience this anguish,” his mother, Lisa Flaherty-Ortega said.

Attorney James B. Moore III is one of the lawyers representing the family.

He says Naqshabandi is the third mental health patient to “die as a result of injuries sustained in a Horry County Sheriff’s transport vehicle in the last 12 months.”

“It is incomprehensible that yet another mentally ill patient has died in the back of a Horry County Sheriff’s transport vehicle,” Moore said. “Providing basic supervision to those under police custody is a Constitutional right, not a luxury. I trust that Horry County Sheriff’s Department can do better than this.”

SLED is investigating the incident to learn more details.

Count on News13 as we continue to follow this developing story.

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