Arrest made in connection with suicides at Ware Youth Center

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WARE YOUTH CENTER

Courtesy: KTBS By Vickie Welborn, Jamie Ostroff  

One arrest has been made and a second is pending in connection with two suicides that took place at a youth corrections center in early 2019. Red River Parish sheriff’s investigators have arrested 30-year-old Marvin Ray Rogers of Coushatta. An arrest warrant has been issued for a second man. Rogers was booked into the Red River Parish Jail on a charge of malfeasance in office. He also faces possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia charges.

ROGERS
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Rogers and the other man are former employees of Ware Youth Center, the facility where 17-year-old Jordan Bachman and 13-year-old Solan Peterson took their lives on the same weekend in February 2019. After their deaths, inspectors with the Department of Children and Family Services found multiple violations at Ware, revealing both suicides could have been prevented. According to an incident report obtained last year by KTBS, Rogers, a shift supervisor and a third employee were on duty when the supervisor found Solan unresponsive with a sheet tied around his neck.

Rogers said in the report he started CPR until EMS arrived. The incident report indicates Rogers was “very distraught and unable to talk after the incident.” He did, however, write a brief report. In it, Rogers said he was called to the holding cell to assist the supervisor with Solan. He found the teen on his back. The supervisor was performing CPR. “We began to switch doing CPR,” Rogers wrote in his report. The incident report states the supervisor was upset and went home. He did not write a report and could not be reached by the staff. A preliminary investigation found that the Ware guards, who were required to check on Jordan and Solan every 15 minutes, didn’t do so for an hour.

Since its initial inspection, records show DCFS followed up with Ware as it worked to correct those violations. According to the records, things that could serve as tie-off points for a makeshift noose have been removed from cells. For example, bars were moved from the inside of windows to the outside. Ware staff are also being held accountable for checking on detainees every 15 minutes, as required by law.

Ware has since installed RFID readers by each cell. Guards have to scan a tag at each reader to prove they’ve done each check.