by Lauren Gard
Could the May 2006 jail cell suicide of UC Berkeley's infamous "Naked Guy" have been prevented? Esther Krenn, the mother of the late Andrew Martinez, who preferred to pass his early-'90s student days au natural, thinks so. She's filed a wrongful-death suit against the Santa Clara Department of Corrections, reports the San Jose Merc.
Soon after arresting her schizophrenic son in January 2006 for getting into a fight at a halfway house where he'd been staying, Martinez made a failed suicide attempt. At that point, Krenn contends, jailers should have transferred him to the mental-health wing - and they might also have thought to remove a plastic bag in his cell, which he ultimately used to kill himself three weeks later. In an article that ran a few days later about his death, Krenn told the SF Chronicle about her last visit to her son in jail: "He was sad. He was tired. He said he had had enough," she said. "I alerted everyone, but nothing happened."