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Family marks anniversary of son who died inside LA County Jail

The family of a man who officials say committed suicide inside Los Angeles County Jail marked the two-year anniversary of his death Wednesday. The American Civil Liberties Union has said the case may be an example of negligence inside an overcrowded and troubled jail.

John Horton's mother said that in February 2009, her son went to jail for failing to show up for his court-ordered drug program.

“All he did was went in there to go to his time like every other inmate," Helen Jones said. "I thought he would come back home to me. That’s what I thought he was going to do.”

Jones doesn’t believe Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials who say her 22-year-old son hanged himself inside his cell on March 30, 2009.

A coroner’s report found he’d also suffered injuries to his liver and his kidney. A Sheriff spokesman maintains the death was a suicide.

Luti said jail guards failed to properly monitor Horton, who may have been suffering from mental illness after use of the drug PCP.

“John Horton did not murder anybody. So him sitting dead now is offensive," Luti said. "They had an obligation to protect him.”

The family has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.