Grand jury finds no evidence jail staffers intentionally caused inmate's death

A special grand jury has concluded there is no evidence that any person at the Rockdale County Jail intentionally caused the death of a 22-year-old inmate.

Police arrested 22-year-old Shali Tilson on a disorderly conduct charge in March of 2018.

Tilson's family says he is bipolar and was having a mental episode at the time of his arrest. Nine days later the 22-year-old was dead. His family says he lost 20 pounds while in solitary confinement.

An autopsy determined Tilson died from blood clots that formed in his lungs due to severe dehydration.

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In a statement from the Rockdale County District Attorney, the grand jury did say that they found the jail's medical and mental health staff "failed to recognize and adequately address the mental state and physical decline of Shali Tilson."

The jury also found that the administration "failed to live up to its responsibility" to ensure Tilson's wellbeing, which they said play a significant role in failing to prevent the inmate's death.

Still, the jury did not find any member of the staff intentionally caused Tilson's death or intentionally withheld water from Tilson.

The Tilson family filed a federal lawsuit against the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office following Shali’s death.