Five criminal cases were dismissed against a Bloomington man on Friday after the state acknowledged his mental health diagnosis and clean police record since a state human rights report criticized his treatment at the McLean County jail.
Lavonte Rayford, 25, squeezed his mother’s hand before he stood for the hearing where Associate Judge William Workman dismissed the felony cases stemming from incidents in 2018 and 2019. Prosecutor Aaron Hornsby said he had met with Rayford and his mother, LaTasha Rayford, before the hearing to determine how things were going for the defendant.
The state did not intend to proceed with the cases, Hornsby told the judge.
In its written request to drop the aggravated charges, the state cited Rayford’s previous mental health issues and his lack of contact with police since the most recent charges in 2019.
Rayford claimed his outbursts at Carle BroMenn Medical Center in March 2019 and a hearing three months later when he was Tased by court security after he jumped on a table, were tied to the wrong medication he allegedly received from emergency room staff for his epilepsy. Rayford’s lawyers argued Rayford was the victim of involuntary intoxication related to the drugs.
In its report, the Regional Human Right Authority (HRA) of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission found that Rayford’s civil rights were violated because he received inadequate care during his June 2019 jail stay. Rayford was hospitalized with seizures after he missed several doses of medication ordered by his doctor.
The state report recommended staff training on medication and recordkeeping responsibilities and care of inmates with seizure disorders. The county disagreed with the report’s conclusions, but confirmed training on the issues cited in the report.
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