Benton County to pay $1.2M after jail death of teen

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Benton County will pay $1.2 million to the family of a teen who died in the county jail in 2016.

The Tri-City Herald reported Tuesday that the family of Marc Moreno accepted the settlement offer from Benton County commissioners rather than continue with the wrongful death lawsuit.

Moreno died in a jail cell March 11, 2016 — eight days after he was booked on warrants and alleged disruptive behavior at a mental health facility. Moreno’s family has said he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

County Coroner John Hansens ruled Moreno died from an irregular heartbeat and dehydration as a result of synthetic cannabis in his system.

Then-Sheriff Steve Keane said that Moreno was given water and food, but they did not know if he was drinking or eating enough.

Benton County has officials have not yet been reached about the settlement.