Delaware inmate who filed lawsuit dies in apparent suicide

Jan 12, 2023, 1:41 AM | Updated: 3:48 pm

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A convicted sex offender being held at Delaware’s maximum-security prison on a probation violation charge has died by an apparent suicide, prison officials said Thursday.

Department of Correction officials said Brandon Lee Panchigar, 36, who has a reported history of suicide attempts, was found unconscious in his cell about 1 p.m. Wednesday. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later while en route to a hospital. His body was turned over to the Division of Forensic Science for an autopsy.

Panchigar was being held in lieu of $20,000 cash bail on a violation of probation for robbery, and an additional $10,000 secured bail for assault in a detention facility. Panchigar, who has been in and out of prison for many years, was convicted of fourth-degree rape when he was 12 years old.

In a handwritten lawsuit filed last February, Panchigar described himself as “SMI,” meaning seriously mentally ill, and said he had tried to kill himself at least twice while in DOC custody. In a barely legible scrawl, he wrote of repeatedly ripping open his scrotum with his bare hands, and banging his head on steel doors and concrete walls.

“I spent 6 months on PCO (psychiatric close observation) smearing feces, hurting myself and suffering in physical, emotional and psychological pain and anguish,” wrote Panchigar, who also mentioned being under suicide watch while imprisoned at Rikers Island in New York City.

It is unclear whether Panchigar was under psychiatric observation at the time of his final suicide attempt. The nature of his injuries also was not disclosed.

In the lawsuit, Panchigar said that after he had “ripped myself open” again last January, he was “rudely patched up” and told by a nurse that she would let him bleed to death the next time.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying Panchigar, who claimed he was the victim of medical neglect, discrimination and retaliation, had failed to to state an actionable constitutional claim against anyone for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.

Panchigar filed an amended complaint, which the judge said contained sufficient details to allege viable claims for constitutional violations. The judge nevertheless dismissed that complaint in November because of pleading deficiencies, while giving Panchigar one more opportunity to file a revised complaint.

On Monday, the judge ordered the case closed after Panchigar failed to meet a Dec. 16 deadline for filing a new complaint or making his intentions known in handwriting that was legible.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Bryan Kohberger, who is accused of killing four University of Idaho students in Nov. 2022, a...
Associated Press

News groups ask Idaho Supreme Court to reject University slayer gag order

Thirty news organizations have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to overturn a gag order in a case against a man accused of stabbing four students to death.
16 hours ago
Nathan Chasing Horse stands in court. Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in North Las Vegas, Nev. Nathan Chasing...
Associated Press

‘Dances With Wolves’ actor charged in 2018 rape in PNW

Canadian police confirmed Tuesday they are pursuing a criminal case against a former "Dances With Wolves" actor who was arrested last week and charged in Nevada with sexually abusing and trafficking Indigenous women and girls.
16 hours ago
FILE - The exterior of the Pennsylvania Judicial Center, home to the Commonwealth Court in Harrisbu...
Associated Press

Major schools ruling in Pa. can’t guarantee more funding

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is the latest state where the public school funding system was found to be unconstitutional, but the experience in other states suggests there’s no guarantee of swift, significant or longstanding change for the poorer school districts that sued in hopes of getting billions of dollars more for their budgets. Tuesday’s […]
16 hours ago
Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, stands with members of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, and ex...
Associated Press

Lawmaker: Power struggle is ‘decapitation’ of Black-run city

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Black lawmakers in Mississippi are denouncing efforts by the majority-white and Republican-led state Legislature to grab power from the majority-Black and Democratic-led capital city of Jackson. “The actions being taken by our legislative leadership amount to a symbolic decapitation of Black elected leadership,” Democratic Sen. John Horhn of Jackson said Wednesday […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Lawmakers in GOP states target medical care for trans kids

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican attacks on gender affirming medical care for young people continued Wednesday in several conservative states that are among more than two dozen considering similar bans nationwide. Lawmakers in Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota considered bills Wednesday that would prohibit gender affirming treatments, like the use of puberty-blocking drugs and hormones, […]
16 hours ago
FILE - This combination of images provided by the Memphis Police Department shows, from top row fro...
Associated Press

Jury may not hear cops’ admissions in Tyre Nichols’ beating

It was a stunning revelation: One of the officers involved in the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols took a cellphone photo of the bloodied and handcuffed man and shared it with five other people. The disclosure was part of the Memphis Police Department’s request to the state that the five former officers charged with murder […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Delaware inmate who filed lawsuit dies in apparent suicide