A severely injured Bay Area extractor is being jailed without proper treatment for his burns, claims the man’s attorney. William Micah Brown, 38, of Oakland, is being held on bail in the Martinez Detention Center while he awaits trial for three felonies, despite pleas from his lawyer Nataniel Johnson-Gottlieb that Brown is in need of immediate medical attention beyond the capabilities of the facility, according to the East Bay Times.
Brown and his co-defendant Daniel Burgess are being charged in connection to an incident in October 2014 when a butane hash oil lab the two were allegedly operating exploded. The blast resulted in extreme burns for the two men. Burgess reportedly had second and third degree burns on 70 to 80 percent of his body while Brown had burns on more than 90 percent of his body. In addition, the explosion injured at least one other person and damaged adjacent buildings.
The two were immediately hospitalized for their injuries and, months later, they were charged with three felonies, two counts of arson and the charge dreaded by all California blasters, manufacturing a controlled substances. After an arraignment, Brown was held on bail while Burgess is awaiting trial in home confinement.
Now Brown’s attorney is claiming that the Martinez Detention Center isn’t providing nearly the level of care his client needs to treat his injuries. In a letter acquired by Johnson-Gottlieb from jail physician Joseph Mega, Mega claims that a patient in his condition requires, according to the Bay Times, “timely access to a plastic surgeon, weekly visits with a medical practitioner and wound-care checks from a nurse every other day.” None of this has been provided by the county, according to Johnson-Gottlieb.
“[Brown’s] health is decompensating at a very alarming rate,” the attorney said. “His left arm is starting to tighten and crumble, he couldn’t open his left hand when I met with him last, his skin was opening up where it was grafted, and he’s at extreme risk of infection… He has a medical team in Oakland who have the capacity to provide him with the care he deserves; the care he has a right to. It is time for William Brown to be released.”
Prosecutor Mary Knox countered Johnson-Gottlieb’s claims in court by saying that if Brown needs additional care, he, like any other person incarcerated in their facility, would be transported to the County hospital. But Johnson-Gottlieb says that’s not happening and blames an unfair justice system for Brown’s enduring incarceration and lack of treatment.
“Someone with more resources could make bail, medical appointments and fight their case,” he said, “whereas Mr. Brown is languishing in jail because he’s poor.”
Photo via Flickr user Dave Nakayama