Family demanding answers after man beaten to death behind bars: 'He had a broken neck'

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Friday, May 21, 2021
Family demanding answers after man beaten to death behind bars
"He had a broken neck," recalled a grieving mother after her son was beaten to death while behind bars.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A New Jersey family is demanding answers after their loved one was brutally beaten while behind bars and later died from his injuries.

The family says so far they have not heard from the jail or received any answers as to how and why this happened.

"He had a broken neck. He had bruises, his eye was smashed in. He took a severe beating," said Diana Lawhon, the victim's mother.

The death of a child is a pain no mother should experience. Thirty-seven-year-old Christopher Hinkle's mother says her son died after he was beaten by his cellmate on April 12 at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

Christopher Hinkle's family is demanding answers after a deadly prison beating in Philadelphia.

"Where are the guards? They are to protect these men. I mean my son was there on charges but he received a death sentence with no trial," said Lawhon.

The family says they had no idea Hinkle was in jail and only found out about his death when they got a call from the hospital.

"You don't imagine to hear from him one day and never hear from him again. And the next time you see him is in the state that we did, in a hospital where he was unrecognizable," said Danielle Calabro, Hinkle's sister.

SEE ALSO: Family speaks out after man killed outside Philly prison 1 hour after release

The family of 20-year-old Rodney Hargrove wants to know how this could have happened near prison grounds.

The family is now demanding answers and justice.

Hinkle was arrested on drug-related charges. His mother admits he had an opioid addiction and believes he was too ashamed to call home after his arrest.

The family has now hired an attorney.

"A man has been beaten to death while under the care and custody of the City of Philadelphia. Something like this should never happen," said Jordan Strokovsky, the family's attorney.

A spokesperson for the jail says they couldn't comment on the case because it's an active investigation but did tell Action News two inmates were killed at the jail this year and two others were killed last year.

"We implore the city to stop this madness and take action to protect those within their walls," said Strokovsky.

Hinkle's cellmate has been charged with murder and was already in jail for a long list of alleged assaults and other crimes.

"Everything was pretty much ripped away from us and it all was highly preventable. He was there on $2,000 bond and not convicted," said Eric Hinkle, the victim's brother.

Hinkle's family is now calling for changes and reforms within the jail system.

"The fact that he can't be here, we want to advocate on his behalf and hopefully this never happens again," said Calabro.

"This crushing pain just can't happen to another family. My question is for the jail is what safety measures are in place for these men," said Lawhon.

Hinkle's mother says in his death, there is still life. He was a registered organ donor and was able to save three lives.