New information has come to light in a News4JAX I-TEAM investigation into the beating death of a patient inside the Northeast Florida State Hospital (NEFSH) in Baker County.
The accused attacker was his roommate. The victim’s family claims the killing could have been avoided.
They point to understaffing at the hospital and they question whether the violent background of the suspect should have kept the men from being assigned to live in the same room in the first place.
The I-TEAM has obtained court records that take us inside the facility for the first time.
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Police say Warren Barrett was brutally beaten by his roommate in April 2021. In recorded interviews obtained through a public records request, Kristen Brown — a nurse at the hospital — told investigators what she saw.
“Badly beaten, purple, blood on face, busted lips. I actually thought he was dead,” Brown said.
The accused attacker, Mark Stone, was pictured with blood on his clothes.
Brown said she never saw Stone and Barrett violent against one another.
“Barrett is like more of like a self-injurer. He is, he’s like a head-banger,” she said. ”He likes to bang his head against the walls. But Mark, no. He was generally pretty calm and quiet.”
Immediately after the alleged attack, Stone left a note on his bed that read: “I couldn’t just lay there and suffer bodily harm… I had to do what I could to prevent being struck.”
Barrett died 10 days after.
Stone has been charged with second-degree murder.
Our investigation discovered this isn’t the first time a patient reportedly attacked another patient at this hospital.
In September 2020, a man who we’re calling “SF” at the request of the family, was attacked and assaulted by another patient.
SF’s mother told us off camera, her youngest son was Baker Acted to the hospital in 2018 after being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.
“November of 2020 is when he was transported to Baptist Hospital with the tube, broken ribs and numerous other injuries,” said SF’s mother. “I think the thing that shocked me the most is that SF didn’t even know who I was, you know, he didn’t know me. And I think that that was hard for me.”
A doctor at Baptist told NEFSH staff that SF may be a victim of sexual abuse.
The Baker County Press says SF’s alleged attacker is Markeith Lloyd, who has a history of violence and is the son of a convicted killer in Central Florida.
Lloyd was charged with aggravated battery with great bodily harm.
The court found him unable to stand trial due to his mental illness.
SF died in January 2021.
According to his family, SF’s death certificate says he died from COVID-19, but his mother disagrees because other documents say he died from pneumonia after a collapsed lung that was repaired due to abuse while at the hospital.
“I want to see accountability,” said SF’s mother.
A report by the Office of Inspector General says SF should’ve been in a nursing home.
The day SF was attacked, the IG report said, both men had their required supervision.
Adult Protective Services (APS) says SF was beaten by Lloyd for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
APS State Director Roy Carr said in the report he believed there was “nothing more the aides could’ve done” to prevent the attack.
The IG report names Linda Williams, the hospital administrator, and Dr. Yolanda Hernandez, the head medical doctor.
Williams and Hernandez weren’t there during the attack, but they are named alleged perpetrators because Carr says “they are responsible for everything that occurs under them.”
Hernandez has the authority to move patients to different facilities.
Records show there were multiple requests for SF’s transfer.
Just one day before the attack, there was a request for Lloyd to be relocated to a forensic facility.
Lloyd and SF were not transferred.
“They need to stop putting forensic patients in with the civil community. I mean, that’s, that’s ridiculous,” said SF’s mother. “My son was there to get care and treatment, he wasn’t there to be protected from somebody that shouldn’t have been there. And the person that hurt my son should never have been there. That’s all there is to it.”
She hired an attorney in hopes of holding the Department of Children and Families accountable for her son’s death.
The IG report didn’t list Williams as giving witness testimony for the report.
A request for comment from Williams and Hernandez was not returned by publication of this article. The I-TEAM has also requested their personnel files from DCF, which says it is processing the request and others.
According to salaries.myflorida.com, both Williams and Hernandez are still employed at the NEFSH.