EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado Springs family is speaking out, asking for answers after their loved one died – in custody at the Criminal Justice Center (CJC) in El Paso County.

FOX21 News has reported nine inmate deaths since March of 2021.

According to the county coroner, 36-year-old William Johnson died from a seizure while sleeping in his cell on September 27, 2021. His family wants to see policies change at the jail to prevent this from happening again.

William’s father, Keith, says he received the news by phone.

“Can’t prepare yourself for that. You can’t. And I have to hang up that phone and then make a call to his mother and tell her I don’t have any idea what happened, but our son is dead,” Keith Johnson said.

In a statement sent to FOX21 on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said:

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to William Johnson’s family and friends.”

William was in the CJC for a 60-day sentence for a DUI. According to the autopsy report, William died as “a result of a seizure disorder associated with epilepsy, polypharmacy (using multiple drugs to treat a single ailment or condition), and COVID-19.”

The autopsy also described some debilitating effects of withdrawal from benzodiazepine, which was prompted by a protocol enacted by the jail.

“Listen, I believe my son may have had a problem,” Keith added. “Obviously, he was taking prescription medicines and driving. But, you know, he didn’t deserve to die. Come on, come on.”

According to a notice to seek monetary damages by the Johnson Family Attorney Kris Miller, William received under, over or no dosage on 13 days while in jail including several consecutive days immediately before his death, though the dosage of specific drugs was not given.

Still, the complaint said, “Before he was in custody, the government was given a battery of required prescription medications and methadone that were improperly administered over the course of several weeks.”

They believe the jail ignored William’s medical needs.

“I used to think, well, you’d be safe in there. That’s not the case with our local jail,” Keith said. “As we’re learning, that’s not the case. We need to take some action here to prevent this from happening with this kind of frequency.”

William’s sister Crystal Craig has created a Facebook group to show support to other families that have lost loved ones who were in custody at the El Paso County Jail.

“I wanted them to have a safe place to go, safe place to reach out to others and share their stories,” Craig said. “Just because they are inmates, does not make their life less valuable or worthy to live, they deserve the same care as everyone else.”

Miller plans to file a lawsuit against the office of the El Paso County Commissioners, El Paso County Sheriff, El Paso County Attorney’s Office, and Wellpath Counsel (the third-party company hired to provide medicine to inmates).

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said they “cannot comment on pending litigation.”

Here’s the full list of inmate deaths since March of 2021: