Fulton County Jail deadly stabbing: Mother seeks justice, will file lawsuit

The mother of a Fulton County Jail inmate who was stabbed to death in April says she plans to file a lawsuit. 

Donna Fortner, the mother of Leonard Fortner, traveled from Texas to Atlanta to seek justice for her son and others. 

"Leonard meant so much to our family, and to come here, and be killed in the fashion that he was, this is the reason why we are here," Fortner told reporters.  

Leonard Fortner

Attorneys representing the Fortner family, and the loved ones of other detainees who have also died at the Fulton County Jail., said more needs to be done to improve conditions at the Rice Street facility, and to reduce the number of people being jailed for minor offenses. 

"This young man did not deserve to die," family attorney C.K. Hoffler said. "Just like all those other people."


The group, comprising the Fortner family and loved ones of other deceased detainees, plans to file a lawsuit to protect inmates at the facility. Twenty-eight detainees have died at the jail since 2022. 

Thirty-seven-year-old Leonard Fortner was killed while being held at the jail on a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property in April. 

"We are here to carry the burden of others to make sure no one else gets this information overnight, or receives this death sentence of their child," Fortner said. "That is why we are here for Leonard." 

Hoffler said the family will file a suit within the next 30 days.