Mentally Ill Man Hangs Self in Cell After Being Falsely Imprisoned for Child Support Debt

Leavenworth, KS–Another example of the child support system helping children. Apparently his child support debt accrued because his mental illness prevented him from working, but that didn’t stop authorities from imprisoning him.

I wish I could say I was surprised, but I see way too much of this sort of thing to be surprised.

From Brother mourns man who gave him another chance at life (SouthTown Star, 11/3/08):

When Edmond White found out his brother needed a kidney transplant, he didn’t hesitate to offer to be the donor.

Dan White had been on dialysis for 11 “brutal” months after high blood pressure led to kidney failure.

Edmond wasn’t perfect, granted, but he knew his brother needed him.

When tests showed the blood types of Edmond and Dan didn’t match, the brothers were part of a paired exchange with another family.

Edmond ended up donating a kidney to another person waiting for a transplant, and that man’s wife gave Dan one of her kidneys.

Dan, 34, said he owes his quality of life to Edmond.

“There’s no greater gift you can receive,” he said.

That was August 2006, a happy time for the White brothers and their family.

The happiness, however, wouldn’t last long for Edmond or his family…

Edmond violated his parole for failure to pay child support and was sent to prison twice, once in 2007 and again in 2008. Edmond wasn’t able to pay the child support because he wasn’t working because of his mental illness, Dan said.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, at the time of his death, Edmond was serving a year sentence for violating his parole. He’d been in Leavenworth since July 2 and was projected to be released April 6, 2009.

In 2002, he was convicted of bank fraud and conspiracy charges for cashing counterfeit checks, said Anthony Delyea, the attorney who represented him. Edmond was sent to Leavenworth and paroled that same year.

Just eight months after donating a kidney for his brother – and with only seven months left on his parole – Edmond was sent back to federal prison on his first parole violation, Dan said.

He later would be paroled again in 2007 but return to Leavenworth in July 2008 on his second probation violation.

He never would leave.

Michael Handler, deputy coroner of Johnson and Leavenworth counties in Kansas, said Edmond’s death was ruled a suicide. He had hanged himself in his cell.

Read the full article here.

Thank reporter Becky Schlikerman for covering the story by writing to her at

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