OTTAWA, Okla. (KFOR) — A jury awarded a family $33 million after their son died in the Ottawa County Jail. As first reported by The Frontier, the verdict comes almost 8 years after Terral Ellis died after spending 12 days in a jail cell, begging for help.

Security footage showed Ellis begging for medical help for more than 20 hours before dying. An autopsy showed he died of sepsis and pneumonia. In the footage, you can hear jail staff making fun of him and threatening to shackle him to the floor.

“The facts are so horrific in this case and Terral Ellis died in such a truly barbaric way,” Daniel Smolen, attorney said. “I don’t think you could leave the trial, even with having a successful jury verdict, you can’t walk out of that situation being satisfied.

Winning the case, but still left with an empty feeling—that is how Smolen described the Ellis family following the lawsuit toward Ottawa County that awarded them $33 million, but it didn’t bring back their loved one.

“Obviously, it’s highly frustrating that none of these individuals were ever charged criminally,” Smolen said. “That weighs heavily on the family.”

Inadequate care and standards at the Ottawa County Jail is at fault for the death of Terral Ellis. Minimum standards that the state law has required for decades were not in place.

“It’s actually just simply enforcing those bare minimum standards that you’re required to adhere to,” Smolen said

Now the county and its residents are paying for it with a future uptick in property taxes.

“But in this situation, what you really are dealing with is a county that for 18 years neglected to put any of the revenue that they generated through taxes in their medical delivery system,” Smolen said.

The Ellis family gave this statement:

“The Ellis family is pleased with, and humbled by, the jury’s verdict. The family waited years for their day in court. Terral Ellis was essentially tortured to death while housed in the Ottawa County Jail.

With a modicum of humane treatment, his suffering and death were eminently preventable. The family is hopeful that the trial and $33 million verdict will spark long overdue reforms of the broken health care delivery systems in our county jails.

Funds recovered by the Estate will be used to care for Terral’s son, who was just four years old when Terral tragically died.”

Smolen says the fight isn’t over just yet.

“I think that they’re going to, you know, continue to fight this fight,” Smolen said. “Apparently, the county has decided they want to appeal it. That’s what the reports are saying, so they continue to fight that county for the appellate process.”

Smolen told me he has worked these types of cases across the country, but says Oklahoma has the highest rate of incarceration and it is a serious problem that they are cracking down on.