In a bizarre incident at the Pinellas County Jail in Pinellas, Florida, Scott Alexander Greenberg has been accused of murdering Kelly Damon Harding with toilet paper. According to news reports, both men were inmates at the Pinellas County Jail when Harding was found unconscious in his cell. There is presently no word on how long he had been laying there before being discovered.
Regardless, he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. At the hospital, an ER doctor found wet toilet paper stuffed in Harding’s throat. Injuries were also found on Harding’s neck that are said to be consistent with strangulation.
The cause of death: asphyxiation.
Based on statements made to other inmates, detectives were able to determine that Scott Greenberg was the likely culprit. Incidentally, Greenberg was in custody awaiting trial on another murder case.
My legal advice? If you find yourself in jail accused of murder, it may be a good idea to refrain from committing other murders.
Greenberg is innocent until proven guilty and so far has only been accused of murder. He has not yet been convicted or found guilty in either case.
(Photo Credit: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)
That said, I suspect that the Pinellas County Jail may be liable to Kelly Harding’s family for premises liability, negligent security, and wrongful death.
Lets think about this for a minute… choking someone to death is an incredibly violent way to commit murder. It is not a quiet way to kill, nor is it one that is executed, no pun intended, without a fight.
How is it that the Pinellas County Jail was supposedly securing these inmates in a jail facility, but did not have the wherewithal to know that a violent fight had broken out between two inmates in their cell?
Are you telling me there was no noise being made? Do you actually believe that Kelly Harding was choked to death and didn’t make a single sound as he was being murdered? He didn’t fight back? There wasn’t a struggle?
The truth is that the jail guards were most likely asleep at the wheel and had no clue what was going on.
Or, they turned and looked the other way.
Besides, how long did Kelly Harding lay in his cell, unconscious, before being discovered? Could he have been saved by a diligent guard?
A review of medical records would prove what Harding’s body temperature was when first encountered by emergency medical responders. This is important because body temperature can be used to extrapolate time of death… especially when a long time has gone by… like hours.
Let me ask you this… do you think Kelly Harding would be dead or alive today if he was a jail guard? I have to believe he would be alive.
As much of a bizarre story this is, the truth is that it is very sad and could have been prevented by a diligent guard doing his/her job.
As a criminal attorney, I have been to jails and prisons all over the State of Florida, both Federal and State, and I can tell you there is no excuse for this kind of thing.
I wonder what Kelly Harding was even in custody for. Why was he housed in the same area as an accused murderer?
If I was a betting man, I would bet that the jail messed up. If this is true, the jail may be held liable in a court of law for damages.
If I was Kelly Harding’s family I would definitely hire a lawyer to investigate this matter and pursue any and all legal remedies that are justified by the evidence.
My condolences go out to Kelly Harding’s family for their loss.