Family Sues Police Over Wanted Man’s Release

     EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) – Madison County police failed to hold a wanted, mentally unstable man, who then killed his father and burned his house five days after his release, the man’s family claims in Madison County Court.

     Mark Prough’s family received an order to have Mark involuntary admitted to a hospital for a mental evaluation. Prough fled after the order was issued in May 2009, but was spotted two months later in Madison County by his daughter, Ashley Prough, who called police, the lawsuit states.
     The dispatcher allegedly told Ashley that her father could not be arrested, because there were no active warrants in the system.
     Ashley says she pleaded with the Madison County Sheriff’s Department to arrest her father, telling the dispatcher that Mark was “wanted” in Jersey County and Miller County, Mo., “involving a death and violent crimes investigations.”
     Madison County police later arrested Mark on a charge of obstructing a peace officer after he allegedly provided a false name and birth date during questioning.
Despite having been notified about the mental evaluation order, Madison County police “knowingly and intentionally failed to comply with the valid order … and the ‘mental health warrant’ in that they refused hold, transfer, or detain Mark Prough pursuant thereto,” the Proughs claim.
     Mark was allegedly released the next morning, on July 5, on a $5,000 recognizance bond. Five days later, he fatally shot his father, Dennis Prough, in the chest and burned his body by setting fire to the house.
     Mark was arrested on July 29.
     The Prough family seeks unspecified damages for wrongful death and is represented by George Wittman of Wittman & Lorton in Jerseyville.

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