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San Diego Jury Deadlocks on Charges Against Jail Doctor in Detainee’s Death, Nurse Acquitted

On February 11, 2024, a San Diego jury deadlocked on involuntary manslaughter charges against Dr. Friederike Von Lintig over a 2019 death at the county’s Las Colinas Detention Facility. Nurse Danalee Pascua, 38, was acquitted of the same charge in the incident.

As PLN reported, both were accused in the death of detainee Elisa Serna on November 11, 2019, just five days after the 24-year-old was booked into the jail on drug possession charges. Serna told them that she was addicted to heroin when she complained of fainting. But despite her abnormally low blood pressure, Von Lintig twice returned the detainee to her cell without examination or taking vital signs, noting in her file that she thought Serna was faking symptoms. Jail surveillance video later captured Pascua outside Serna’s cell, watching the detainee bang her head against the wall; rather than help, the nurse just walked away. Serna was found dead an hour later. [See: PLN, Feb. 2023, p.63.]

Prosecutors decided not to retry Von Lintig, so charges against her were dismissed on February 14, 2024. Meanwhile a civil suit filed on behalf of Serna’s estate by attorneys with Iredale & Yoo APC in San Diego remains pending in federal court for the Southern District of California. See: Est. of Serna v. Cty. of San Diego, USDC (S.D. Cal.), Case No. 3:20-cv-02096.  


Additional source: AP News

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