Lashawn Thompson was allegedly eaten alive by bugs in his Atlanta jail cell while awaiting trial for a June 2022 misdemeanor simple battery charge, according to his family's attorney.
Now, the 35-year-old's family is calling for the closure of the Fulton County Jail, as well as a criminal investigation into Thompson's death.
"People like him get neglected. His parents are deceased. No wife, no kids. His family's not from Atlanta, so they weren't here while he was here to keep up with him. But they got the call that he had died in the jail," attorney Michael Harper of The Harper Law Firm told Fox News Digital on Thursday.
Jail officials placed Thompson in the psychiatric wing after determining he had schizophrenia, Harper said. The attorney shared several extremely graphic photos of Thompson and the filth he allegedly died in at the detention facility in a Wednesday press release.
"The family approved photographs…. show[ing] that the jail cell Mr. Thompson was housed in was not fit for a deceased animal," Harper wrote. "He did not deserve this. Someone has to be held accountable for his death. The Fulton County Jail must be closed and replaced."
Three months after his placement in the psychiatric wing, Thompson "was found in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by inspects and bed bugs," the press release states.
Public records obtained by Harper's law office apparently show that detention officers and medical staff at the jail noticed Thompson's deterioration – including an infection from bedbugs and lice on his torso – while he was still alive but did nothing to aid him.
There were "plans" to transfer him to another unit of the jail that never came to fruition when they eventually found Thompson dead in the cell, Harper alleged.
"They literally watched his health decline until he died. When his body was found one of the detention officers refused to administer CPR because in her words she ‘freaked out,'" Harper wrote in the press release.
Thompson's family is expected to speak out during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
"They're horrified," Harper said.
The Fulton County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News Digital. Sheriff Pat Labat has been pushing for a new detention facility due to overcrowding that researchers estimate could cost up to $2 billion, according to 11 Alive News.
"Today we have almost 600 people sleeping on the floors and the jail is being held together with duct tape and bubble gum," Labat said in February, according to 11 Alive. "When you have people that are ingenious enough to start stripping the wires from some outlets and start using the materials there to build and make homemade knives – we have to create a better environment."