~ Former Interim Prison Director signed MOU with MHF and authorized Thomas’s detention.~
PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Justice Anna Richardson said in response to questions posed by SMN News that the Prosecutors Office is not divulging any information regarding the investigation into the death of mental health patient Lance Thomas.
In a month’s time, it will be one year since Lance Thomas was found dead in a prison cell, his relatives have said that to date they have not received any updates from the prosecutor's office about the investigation. On June 3rd the late Thomas celebrated his birthday and his relatives expressed their dissatisfaction with the investigation and how little they are being told about the case.
Based on research conducted by SMN News showed that former Prison Director Aartwichgt Bell signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mental Health Foundation to detain mental health patients in the prison cells. However, Bell did not inform the Minister of Justice about the MOU which she has since retracted after the death of Lance Thomas.
Another mystery that was uncovered is that Bell is the one that gave acting Prosecutor Randolph Bloieman and Ryan Clarke permission to arrest and detain Thomas, the permission was granted when the three (Bell, Bloieman, and Clark) were standing on Soualiga Road attending to a car show that was being held by Aartwichgt Bell, noteworthy to note is that Bell was at the time on vacation. While Bell authorized the detention of the patient, he did not inform the management of the prison who were all made suspects in the case of Lance Thomas.
Those made suspects since the investigation is the current Prison Director Steven Carty, Henrietta Doran York, Humphrey Concencion, and former director Aartwichgt Bell.
SMN News asked the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson since she discovered what transpired prior to and after the arrest of the late Lance Thomas if disciplinary actions were taken against those that took the decision to detain the mental health patient in a prison cell. The Minister said that actions were taken because the management team has changed due to decisions that were taken without her knowledge and approval.