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Family of man killed inside jail demands answers from county

Shone Trawick beaten to death last month
Posted at 4:34 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 18:39:22-05

CLEVELAND, OH — The family of man beaten to death inside the troubled Cuyahoga County jail last month gathered Friday on the steps of the Justice Center to demand answers from the county about Shone Trawick's death.

Investigators said the 48-year-old father of six was brutally beaten by another inmate while locked in his cell on Nov. 9.

An attorney for the union representing Cuyahoga County corrections officers said the attack occurred while inmates were locked in their cells during an evening shift change inside the jail.

"My kids won't have their father to walk to them [down] the aisle," said Trawick's wife Dionne Brooks. "My kids won't have their father when they have a problem and call on him. My grandbabies don't have their Pa Pa no more."

Photo of Shone Trawick's family.

Court records show Trawick was serving a six-month jail sentence for misdemeanor assault when he was attacked.

His cellmate, Edmond Hightower, a man with a history of mental illness and violence, is charged with Trawick's murder.

Brooks said she's haunted by unanswered questions surrounding her husband's brutal death.

"Why was he beaten?" said Brooks. "Why did this man do this? Was anything going on before then? But the only people who can answer this is the people who work here."

But Brooks said her calls to jail administrators have gone unreturned.

"If it was your loved one wouldn't you want answers?" said Brooks. "If your family was hurting like this, wouldn't you want answers?"

After a dozen inmate deaths in the last two-and-a-half years, the attorney representing Trawick's family called the county's lack of transparency appalling.

"These are answers that aren't being given to the public and to the community that can save people's lives and that's a problem," said attorney Tyresha Brown-O'Neal.

She, along with Trawick's family, believe that until they know how a man serving time for a misdemeanor ended up with a death sentence, no one inside the jail is safe.

"To know he walked in here as a healthy man, and he came out and he’s not living no more, that’s just, I don’t know," said Brooks, "I have a hard time. It disgusts me."

Photo of Shone Trawick.

A Cuyahoga County spokesperson said the information that can be released in the case is limited right now because of an on-going, internal, administrative investigation into Trawick's death.

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