Convicted murderer sues St. Clair County Jail alleging 'inhumane' conditions

News-DemocratMay 3, 2013 

A convicted murderer has filed a lawsuit against St. Clair County officials alleging overcrowded conditions at the county jail caused him back and neck pain.

Stanley Chairs, a 20-year-old inmate in the jail, filed the complaint against Sheriff Rick Watson and Jail Superintendent Phillip McLaurin in federal court on April 24. He seeks an unspecified amount of money from the county.

Chairs was convicted on April 8 of shooting security guard Joshua Miller, 22, to death in 2011. Miller, a father of two children, was working as unarmed security guard at a construction site in East St. Louis. Chairs faces between 20 to 60 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30.

Chairs alleged overcrowding at the jail creates "inhumane" living conditions and a lack of "recreation" causes the medical issues. Chairs has been housed at the jail since June 2011.

County officials hired Sitton Construction Group, based in O'Fallon, to assess the best way to address overcrowding in the building. The company will determine whether it is more cost-efficient to renovate or add on to the jail.

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