SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A convicted Shreveport serial killer is one of three inmates who have filed a lawsuit from death row, citing inhumane conditions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Three inmates, Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code and James Magee claim they are being forced to live in extreme and dangerous heat.
Ball is on death row for killing a delivery man in Gretna, Magee for murdering his estranged wife and their five year old son in St. Tammany Parish, and Code for brutally killing of eight people, including two children. Now, he says living conditions in prison are too hot to bear.
Between 1984 and 1987, Code terrorized Shreveport's Cedar Grove neighborhood. Family members of those he killed are outraged he is filing a suit asking for better jail conditions.
"It was certainly the worst case I've ever prosecuted. It's also the worst case I've ever seen," said Judge Scott Crichton, who prosecuted the case nearly two decades ago that put Code on death row. Crichton says Code was convicted of brutally murdering four people, but prosecutors proved he killed eight - including six men and women and two children. "These crimes were particularly brutal and heinous," said Crichton.
Now with the help of non-profit "Promise of Justice Initiative," Code and two other death row inmates are filing a law suit against state agencies for cruel and unusual punishment. Crichton calls the claim ridiculous, "They are on borrowed time and for them to complain about anything is outrageous."
According to the suit, inmates suffer extreme heat, as high as 195-degree with the heat index in the summer at Angola's death row, saying "The extreme heat ... risks serious harm including injury or death."
Albert Culbert, whose brother and sister were murdered by Code, has a hard time feeling sorry for him. "He's the one who took away all the comforts that he's fighting for now, he did that when he decided to take away all those peoples lives. He did that, we didn't do it, society didn't do it, he did it to himself," said Culbert.
Linda Logan is angry. Her little sister, Debra Ford, was also murdered by Code. "He's got some gall, suing and complaining he's too hot, well my sister is too dead," said Logan.
According to the inmates' lawyer Mercedes Montagnes, the death row conditions are "horrifying" and "a violation of constitutional protections." She is asking the court to require temperatures not exceed 88-degrees, and provide inmates with clean water, ice, and cool showers in the summertime. But Culbert says Code doesn't deserve to feel comfortable. "He lost all of those rights when he murdered my sister, my brother, my niece, my sisters friend Billy Joe, Debra Ford, those two little boys, his grandfather, he lost all that," said Culbert.
Spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, Pam Laborde, said the state does not comment on pending litigation. Read a full copy of the lawsuit here.