Department of Corrections Sued over 2009 Suicide

The State Department of Corrections is being sued over a 2009 suicide at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton. The family of Michael Gilstrap filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Thurston County Superior Court saying the prison deprived him of his prescribed medications for depression and post traumatic stress disorder, leading directly to his death. According to the suit, Gilstrap was transferred to WCC from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office to serve a five-year sentence for second-degree assault of a child. He was transferred with a number of prescription medications. The suit alleges DOC did not provide Gilstrap with those medications as prescribed even after mental health screenings during which stated that he needed them. On May 29, 2009, nine days after arriving at the State Prison, Gilstap was found dead in his cell hanging by his neck. Attorneys for Gilstrap’s family say the Department of Correction’s negligence led directly to his death.