Wilbraham mother seeks justice for her son - KPTV - FOX 12

Wilbraham mother seeks justice for her son

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

A woman from Wilbraham wants a grand jury to look into the death of her son, who was being evaluated at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Lisa Brown is asking for signatures as she plans to petition Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Brown's son, 23-year-old Joshua Messier, died while strapped to a bed at the facility with numerous guards holding him down.

Messier suffered from schizophrenia.

The Boston Globe reported that the death was originally ruled a homicide, but the medical examiner told investigators that she later unofficially changed her findings.

Brown said the state needs to be held accountable.

"If people have seen the video, which I haven't, but I've caught a couple of glimpses of pictures, I guess there was seven men on top of Joshua that from what I understand, caused him to have a heart attack and basically suffocated him," said Brown.

According to the Globe, Gov. Deval Patrick has called for changes at the facility, and Brown and Messier's father would receive $3 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit they have filed against the state.

But Brown wants criminal charges and she is pushing a class action suit to release or transfer the 175 Bridgewater inmates.

For more information on Brown's situation, you can visit www.joshuamessier.com.

Brown was on hand for the 14th annual NAMI Walkathon at King Philip's Stockade on Sunday.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provides help and support for those affected by mental illness.

Organizers of Sunday's walk said this is a key time to provide a voice for those in need.

"It's important that we try to stop the stigma that is associated with mental illness because this prevents people from seeking the treatment that they need," said Bernice Drumheller, president of NAMI of Western Mass.

The group serves residents in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties.

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