Billy Wedgeworth-Suicide in Custody


This is in response to the following article in the Orange County Register and several comments posted by people on the OCR Website.

http://www.ocregister.com/news/wedgeworth-260278-jail-police.html

Here are two of the comments that I am responding to.  The one from haminator has several back and forth replies that can be seen at the link above.

1angelsfan

5:03 PM on August 2, 2010

Shouldn’t it be “Man hung self” ? The OCR title just doesn’t sound right. Either way, um…shouldn’t Newport Beach PD perhaps begin to instill a new regime of perhaps checking on their arrestees more often so people don’t do this? Whether or not people are suicidal perhaps taking away whatever it is they are using to hang themselves with may be a good idea. I’m just sayin.

haminator

3:25 PM on August 2, 2010

This guy looks like he was a pretty well-rounded “jurk.” In OC alone he was convicted of two felonies for fighting and spousal abuse, along with numerous traffic and other violations (even a misdemeanor for not properly restraining his dog). I apologize if this isn’t the same guy, but it looks like he may have done us all a big favor.

MY THOUGHTS ON SUICIDES IN JAILS

1ANGELSFAN:  In my opinion it should be “Man hung himself In Newport Beach Jail.”  You are correct, that title just looks awkward, even if it is proper grammar.  As to the story itself, regardless of an inmates desire to take his/her life when incarcerated, I believe it is the duty of the Jail Staff, to make provisions to ensure that this “desire” is not carried out successfully.  I speak from hard experience on this one as my sister, Natalie Ann Amador, took her own life in the exact same way on Valentine’s Day, 2009 in the Robert Presley Detention Center (Riverside County).

She was found dead in her cell at 12:20 p.m. on a Saturday in a brand new jail.  I’m not here to do any ax grinding but just to point out something that I guess the personnel of jails everywhere just don’t seem to understand.  Many studies have shown that the vast majority of inmate suicides have taken place during the first 72 hours after arrest.  This is probably due to many factors and I don’t need to list all of them here.  For my sister I think it was a combination of being super bummed she got arrested and was definitely facing some time along with being forced to come off of drugs in a way that must be shocking to a habitual users psyche.

The reasons why aren’t really as important to me as the need for Correctional Facilities to come to grips with the reality of this phenomenon and take proactive measures to ensure it doesn’t happen anymore.  I knew Billy Wedgeworth and yes he did have issues but I’m not one to judge anyone for anything.  His issues notwithstanding, he should still be alive.  Dollars to donuts if he could somehow, someway, be given a choice whether or not to follow through with what I’m sure was an act of impulsive desperation say today for instance, I have serious doubts as to whether he would go through with it.  I truly feel that the same can be said for the majority of these people (like my sister Natalie).  I read one comment that summarized the situation quite adeptly…”a permanent solution to a temporary problem”.

I also read some other comments and the responses to them.  It is nobody’s place to judge a person’s life except for God right?  It seems especially ignorant to judge a persons life based upon an arrest record that is retrieved online via the Superior Court’s website and which contains zero details regarding whatever incident  the person has been convicted of except for the date of the conviction and sentence administered.  Common sense should tell you that you  are not seeing the whole picture in that scenario.  So to go on a public forum, armed with zero credible info and start badmouthing a person who just ended their life suddenly is both inappropriate and cruel.  You do this,   knowing full well that the deceased person has friends, relatives etc. that are  going to be anxiously combing the internet,  searching for information about their deceased loved one.    More then likely, they are going to come across your  poorly researched jibber jabber and your stupid thoughtlessness is going to do nothing but further inflame an already tense situation.   Get a life man.  You are no expert so shut the hell up.  I’m just saying.

Really though, all of the above is just filler to be honest.  The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if the inmate is Satan’s Son, and really really wants to end his life.  The police/jail has taken it upon themselves to take “custody” of the individual.  That custody comes with responsibility in my opinion.  A responsibility to provide a reasonable standard of care for the person while they are guests of the jail is not too much to ask is it?  Some kind of mandatory extra precautionary period for at least the first few days of incarceration is appropriate.   Given the myriad  number of suicides that have taken place in jails all over the nation, especially in the first 72 hours after arrest, I believe that it should be mandatory.  It should be part of the regular routine  of adjusting and acclimating oneself to the conditions they are going to have to endure while in custody.  If this procedure saves even one persons life, then its worth and  is also not too much to ask.

I love my sister and I know many people loved Billy and thats with her flaws and thats with his flaws.  We would rather them be alive if it could be at all helped.  I think it can.  Please encourage this to be more of a priority in the future somehow.  Thank you.

Anthony Mandich

19 thoughts on “Billy Wedgeworth-Suicide in Custody

  1. well first let me tell you i knew Billy Wedgeworth for over 30 years he was a great friend who always helped when he could, we came up together and although i was away he was one person i was really looking forward to seeing when i paroled but to no avail, Billy i will see you that is a fact i love you always Wedge, Bobby Rio The League

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  2. Very well put! Ive know Billy since I was 17 years old & I cant even believe this happened. I have frequent flyer miles with the NVPD and have been in that jail several times. Although they do have camera’s in every cell, it’s the obligation of the officer on duty to be watching the cameras or doing cell checks. As many times as Ive been there, I have never ever been checked on. Its a horrible way to come down off your high. I fully agree that the California Dept. OF Corrections along with county & local jails should place inmates on 72 hr holds that are or appear to be under the influnce. Ive done a lot of time and suicide is all to familar while incarcerated. Anthony, my heart goes out to you for the loss of your sister. I can’t even imagine your loss. Once again, thank you for having Wedge’s back!!! Fuck these bastards that want to talk shit about a GOOD man who took his life in dispare. Doesnt matter if he had a record, bad things happen to good people….

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  3. So terribly sad about Billy. I don’t know what accusations and statements are true or false. I do know he had struggles as WE all do. Some harder and more difficult than others. I do know Billy was a good musician who loved his music but most off all I know one of his sons who he loved dearly and this wonderful son loved his father dearly. May the entire Wedgeworth family find some Peace some day soon.

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  4. To everyone speaking up for Billy, thank you. Billy was an amazing person. I know because I am his wife and mother of his two young daughters. The truth of Billy’s death has not yet been told. I promise, though, that it will be. Billy was a wonderful, loving husband and what has been said about the day he died is far, far from the truth. There was no fight, no arguments. Anthony, I am so sorry for what happened to your sister. We live in a society with too many broken systems. What happened to Billy and your sister should never happen to anyone. I am going to do whatever I can so that no other family has to lose a loved one they were so desperately trying to help. My whole life revolved around Billy and our kids and this loss is something I will never be able to put into words.

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    1. Wedgegirl…..
      Wow. Thanks for writing that, it means a lot to me. I wanted to be there for Billy’s Memorial Service today but I have no car and I live in Corona. Keep me informed about what you’re getting up to “so that no other family has to lose a loved one….”, I am interested in helping on that front for sure. I think its pathetic that so many suicides take place while people are in custody. To me its inexcusable and really I can’t think of one viable reason why it should be taking place, especially in city and county jails. You are so correct about living in a society with broken systems. It boggles my mind often believe me. Read my post in this blog from June 4th. I think its called My Sister’s Birthday or something. Anyway, sorry again for your loss. You can reach me at 949 400 9252 if you wanna have a chat. I also know EXACTLY what you mean about never being able to put into words the enormity of your loss. I was the person who answered the phone from Riverside County informing me of Natalie’s death. I hung up the phone and the only other person at my house was my wife Briar. The thought of having to disrupt so many people’s Valentine’s Day evenings with the horrible and fucking shocking news about my sister was overwhelming. It was so fucked.

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  5. Anthony, nobody could have said it better than the way you did! I also knew Billy, he was a great friend and person! He will be deeply missed by so many. He was always there when anyone needed him, I just wish that someone could have been there for him. It’s such a huge loss with him gone. I agree with everything you had to say! Take care, Marika

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    1. Marika…thanks alot for saying that. That’s way cool of you. What you say is so true, had I known exactly what the consequences were going to be for my sister then of course I would have done alot of things differently. But I didn’t know and I was wrapped up in my own selfish life I guess. My question is how do you apply it to the future and the people that are alive but maybe going through the same thing? Its so hard. Hey thanks for your comment anyways though.

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  6. WELL ROUNED ….HEY ASS HOLE BILLY WAS A FRIEND AND IN ORANGECOUNTY UNLESS YOUR WEREING RONJON ALSO 4 U TRENDY SKUM. SAILOR JERRY WHO WAS A TATTOO ART,ST …IF YOU SPIT ON THE GROUND ITS ALMOST A FELONY WE GREW UP IN THE EARLY PUNKROCK DAYS .HE HAD A COUPLE FIGHTS WITH JOCK ASSHOLES .WHAT JOCK DIDNT FIGHT, BILLY HAD KIDS A WIFE AND HOUSE ..IVE BEEN TO NEWPORT JAIL ITS MORE A HOLDING CELL IVE LIVED IN S.F 4 20 ODD YRS WHEN I WENT TO MY OLD HOME TOWN COASTA MEASA CA I WENT=TO 7 11 COP PULLS UP AT 1.55AM TO MESS WITH ANY ONE WHO LOOKS HALFDRUNK. I WASNT DRIVING OR DOING ANY THING ..COP ARRESTED ME 4 DRUNK IN PUBLIC NO CHARGES, I WENT TO JAMBOREE POLICE STATION NEWPORT BCH CA BILLY HAD A FIGHT WITH WIFE, SO THEY SAY. NPB P.D SHOULD HAVE CAMERAS IN CELLS NEWPORT POLICE ARE THE HIGHEST PAID COPS IN THE NATION IVE BEEN FUCKED WITH BY THE NEWPORT POLICE SINCE I WAS 17, BECAUSE I HAD TATTS AND A MOWHOK THESE POLICE TREAT PEOPLE LIKE SHIT DOESNT MATTER IF YOU ARE RICH EITHER. ONE WORD INVESTIGATION..P.S THE ASS WHO SAID WELL ROUNDED AS IF HE WAS A X CON YOU SOUND LIKE A COP OR A DICKWEED ,I HOPE YOU DONT HAVE KIDS ,IF YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND I HOPE SHE SUCKS ANOTHERS COCK….LONG LIVE THE LEAGUE..RIP BILLY PS WHY DID THE FUCKS PRINT IN THE PAPER HIS PAST CONVICTIONS SOUNDS LIKE A DEFENSE

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    1. i agree about the newport beach police. one time i was driving with my friend alex from laguna to newport late at night and i was drunk but alex was driving and this cop had somebody else pulled over and we were going like 55 or whatever the speed limit was and i just yelled something out the window i doubt if he could have even heard what i said which i don’t remember what it was…but anyways like 4 miles later we get pulled over and I GO TO JAIL for drunk in public or some stupid shit. and i was the passenger. can you believe that. they let my friend go and put me in jail for the night then let me go the next day with no ticket no charges no nothing

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  7. ….agreed, they do have a responsibility to their children,mothers,fathers, and siblings. WTF…why do the cops put people under the influence of any narcotics anywhere but in a phyc. ward? If this was standard procedure then your sister, Billy, and hundreds of others lives wouldn’t end like this tragedy. God Bless you and your family as well as Billy’s family and children.

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  8. this is your serious side isn’t it anthony m? You always were a brainy guy but wow me thinks you could be university prossefor

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    1. I knew this man personally since I was 15 years old. HE WASN”T just a some wife beating phyco. He was a son,a father,and a very good friend to alot of people for many years. Life is a Journey that sometimes takes people to places they couldnt even fathom earlier in their lives. This was the case in Billy’s life anyone that knew him, knows what a GOOD kid he was.He wasn’t a jerk with a record, he was a person who made some bad choices as an adult and didnt get the benefit of living long enough to turn it back around again.
      P.S. to the guy rattling off a criminal history from something he read. A fight,a leash less dog,and an argument with your wife, and some traffic tickets….is it a big favor to society if you kill yourself after committing these offenses, anybody could accidentally end up here… you,your son, your brother.That would be sad….just like this is!

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      1. i agree with you totally ana. anyone trying to make a judgment call about another person based on that rattled off criminal history is just a fucking moron. as if he really looks at life in such a black and white/cut and dried way. doubt it. he’s really just looking to stir up people’s emotions and knows he’s relatively safe hidden behind his keyboard. thus the reason his name is withheld while i go out of my way to splash my name everywhere on the internet lol. i’ve known billy since about 15 years ago when i first started working at tsa. and i had heard about some issues but i’m not a person to make value judgments based on one side of a story to begin with. everyone has their problems and God knows his heart which i believe was always in the right place, just like my sisters. hopefully thats enough for both of them to be chilling out now and not even sweating shit. its fucking sad though and if people just realized the destruction they leave in their wake when taking their own lives maybe they would see how fucking selfish it is at the end of the day. thats one thing i will make a judgment about. my sister had two kids in high school for fucks sweet sake. regardless of her inner turmoil about getting arrested she had a responsibility to do better by her family then fucking hanging herself in goddam riverside county jail. it still pisses me off at her i swear. especially on lovely summer days like today where i have just been chilling and painting my happy go lucky way through life. i know that she would take it back if she could but she can’t and it really makes me mad

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