The state of Indiana must pay a convicted killer $425,000 after keeping him in solitary confinement for more than four years without conducting a single review to determine whether he should remain segregated, according to a new report.
Jay Vermillon, who is serving time for murder and other offenses, entered solitary confinement at Westville Correctional Facility in 2009, but he was never given a clear explanation for his segregation — or the chance to argue his case against staying there, attorney Maggie Filler of the Chicago-based MacArthur Justice Center told The Indianapolis Star.
He described his temporary home as a cold “concrete tomb with a solid steel door” that allowed him no direct contact with others, work or recreation, according to the report.
State law only allows a maximum solitary confinement term of 30 days before officials must conduct a review. But that never happened in Vermillon’s case — so he sued the Department of Correction, according to the report.
An October settlement obtained by the Star determined that the state must pay him roughly $100,000 for each year he spent in isolation.
Indiana Department of Correction spokesman Dave Bursten told the paper that the agency agreed to resolve the case to avoid litigation-related “uncertainties” and expenses.
“We continue to deny any fault, wrongdoing or liability with respect to this litigation,” Bursten said.
Vermillion was convicted in 1997 for fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend in 1995, according to court documents obtained by the Star.
Now, he’s being held at the Pendleton Correctional Facility with an expected release around 2036.