Prosecutor taps AG for review of Muskegon jail death

Target 8
Paul Bulthouse photo from neck up

A mug shot of Paul Bulthouse from the Muskegon County Jail.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office will ask Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to assign a special prosecutor to review the death of a jail inmate under scrutiny after a Target 8 investigation.

The move is in response to a Target 8 investigation involving jail video which showed a jail guard had watched one of Paul Bulthouse’s 17 seizures, then walked away.

The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office has completed its second internal investigation into Bulthouse’s April 4 death. The sheriff’s office turned over the investigation to the county prosecutor’s office on Wednesday, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tim Maat.

Maat wouldn’t say what conclusions were reached by the investigation and Muskegon County Sheriff Michael Poulin did not respond to a request for comment.

The sheriff’s office closed its first investigation into Bulthouse’s death, finding no wrongdoing. But the sheriff reopened the probe after Target 8’s review of jail video.

Bulthouse, 39, never got medical help. He suffered 17 seizures over more than three hours before dying alone and naked in a puddle of his own urine.

Target 8’s investigation also raised questions about the care provided to inmates by a private, out-of-state company — Wellpath. The county pays Wellpath $1.3 million a year to care for inmates and those being held at its juvenile detention center.

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