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Social services group sued in Oklahoma teen detainee suicide case

MUSKOGEE, Okla. –  The estate of a teen who died by suicide while detained is suing a county youth services agency and its employees who operated the juvenile detention center.

The Muskogee Phoenix reports that Billy Woods’ estate filed the lawsuit against the Muskogee County Council of Youth Services and four of its employees. Co-defendants include the county Board of Commissioners, the Office of Juvenile Affairs and its executive director.

The 16-year-old was found dead in his cell at the Muskogee County Regional Juvenile Detention Center in December 2016 while detained for a curfew violation.

The lawsuit alleges that Woods was known to be a “suicide risk” and that the council and its employees did little to reduce the risk.

Youth Services Board Chairwoman Evelyn Hibbs has declined to comment on the lawsuit.