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Correction Officer Arrested in Connection With Death of Mentally-Ill Inmate

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TWC News: Correction Officer Arrested in Connection With Death of Mentally-Ill Inmate
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A correction officer on Rikers Island was arrested in connection with the death of a mentally-ill inmate.

Terrance Pendergrass, 49, is charged with deprivation of rights for allegedly ignoring the medical needs of inmate Jason Echevarria, who died in August 2012.

If convicted, Pendergrass could face up to 10 years in prison.

Investigators say Echevarria was part of an inmate unit supervised by Pendergrass when he swallowed a "soap ball" full of detergent.

Other correction officers say they repeatedly told Pendergrass that Echevarria was sick and pleading for help, but investigators say Pendergrass didn't contact any medical personnel.

Echevarria was found dead in his cell the next day.

Sources say Pendergrass was demoted last year because of the incident and is now suspended without pay.

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