Guards at St. Louis lockup streamed Netflix while inmate killed himself

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A report from the Missouri Department of Corrections shows guards at a St. Louis facility neglected their duties. An inmate committed suicide in his cell and was dead for several hours before being discovered. Surveillance footage from the St. Louis Community Release Center shows guards were on their cellphones and watched movies on Netflix instead of conducting mandated security checks.

The facility is located just north of downtown, in the 1600 block of N. 1st Street. According to the Division of Probation and Parole, it serves as a halfway house for offenders who need help with housing accommodations after prison.

The offender in question, 41-year-old David Garceau, was found hanged in his cell on October 24. He was pronounced dead just before 5:30 a.m. but died the night prior at around 7:30 p.m.

Our news partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch filed an open records request with the Missouri Department of Corrections. The report, completed at the end of January, was delivered to the Post-Dispatch last week.

Garceau struggled with drug addiction and mental illness, family members said. He had been convicted of arson and burglary, but was released from prison last September and went to live with his father near Lake of the Ozarks. However, Garceau began cutting himself and was sent to a hospital in West Plains, Missouri for treatment for mental illness.

Garceau was then brought to the St. Louis Community Release Center on October 18. He’d been prescribed multiple medications but, according to the investigative report, did not receive any of them on October 20, 21, or 22. He was given his medications three times on October 23. Employees at the facility were unaware Garceau had prescriptions.

The department reviewed approximately 54 hours of surveillance footage from the St. Louis Community Release Center.

Several guards and employees were either fired or resigned from the facility following Garceau’s death.