The family of a teenage girl who was found dead two years ago in a Milam County jail is now suing the private company that ran the facility.

Nacaya Matthews
(courtesy John Melton)

The parents of 15-year-old Nacaya Matthews, who hanged herself with a bed sheet in her cell at the Rockdale Juvenile Justice Center, are suing 4M Youth Services, the company that ran the facility at the time of her death. The family is also suing four employees of the facility.

Matthews was committed to the jail in May of 2017, for a probation violation. According to the lawsuit, Matthews reported two months later that a guard had been sexually inappropriate with her.

The suit says the jail’s assistant facility administrator, Louis Soldan, found the guard did nothing wrong and accused Matthews of lying. The family is also accusing the company of not properly monitoring Matthews when she was placed on suicide watch, before her death on August 12, 2017.

Several people have been arrested and found guilty as a result of investigation into the matter, including juvenile supervision officers Eboni Henderson and Quashima Jackson. Court records show Henderson was found guilty last year of tampering with physical evidence because she lied about conducting certain checks on Matthews, while Jackson plead guilty last year to aiding suicide.

The parents are also suing those two, in addition to Soldan and juvenile supervision officer Zastefanie Ross. According to state investigation reports, inmates said after Matthews’ death that Ross had called her a snitch.

The facility is now being managed by Youth Opportunity Center Inc., an Indiana-based company, although 4M Youth Services still owns the building.

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