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Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017 12:06 am

A miracle cure

Inmate rises from hospital bed

Sometimes, it pays to get your butt kicked. Ask Michael Goldsberry, erstwhile denizen of the Sangamon County jail.

Goldsberry, who has a history of drug offenses and a problem with methamphetamine, has been arrested at least seven times since 2005 on felony charges, including four times since January. Charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, retail theft and obstruction of justice, he was sent to jail after failing to appear in drug court as scheduled in September. The court docket shows that authorities were trying to get him into residential drug treatment as recently as October. Instead, he stayed in jail. But no longer.

On Nov. 9, fellow inmates attacked Goldsberry. “Our investigation shows that he was stealing commissary items from other inmates,” says assistant jail superintendent Terry Durr. Jail records indicate Goldsberry hadn’t made good on a debt for peanut butter and jelly.

Goldsberry’s injuries were serious enough that he was rushed to a hospital – Durr said he believes that he was sent to Memorial Medical Center. There was a concern that Goldsberry, 34, might have suffered some sort of paralysis, according to the courthouse rumor mill. Redacted reports from the sheriff’s office don’t confirm that, but reports indicate that Goldsberry’s injuries were serious. There was plenty of blood. While Goldsberry was able to stand at one point, guards took him out of the jail with the help of a stretcher and wheelchair. At one point, according to a jail report, he began sliding out of the wheelchair, prompting a guard to grab him by his shirt to pull him back into position.

Goldsberry had been held in lieu of $30,000 bail, but four days after the attack, prosecutors moved to have him “released” on his own recognizance, with his lawyer agreeing to the motion so long as he received credit for time served while he was either in the hospital or an extended care facility.

Call it a miracle cure. Once guards who had been posted at his hospital room departed when Goldsberry was placed on a recognizance bond, he walked out of the hospital. A warrant for his arrest was issued a week ago, but as of press time Goldsberry remained at large.

The sheriff’s department wanted Goldsberry on a recognizance bond to save the expense of posting guards at the hospital, Durr said. While Goldsberry walked free, three inmates suspected of attacking him were charged with felony counts of aggravated battery and mob action. At last report, they remained in jail.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.

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