Parents of Accused Murderer File $20 Million Claim Against County
March 11, 2011
Months after their son committed suicide in the county jail while awaiting trial on charges he murdered his wife, Dean and Dena Crow have filed a $20 million liability claim against Monterey County, alleging jail staff was grossly negligent in the death.
Jesse Crow, 33, was accused of shooting, bludgeoning and dismembering 23-year-old wife, Ryann Bunnell Crow, then disposing her remains in cement-filled trash bins thrown into the water from the San Mateo Bridge. He was found hanged with a bed sheet in his jail cell on Aug. 7.
Crow was charged with homicide in February 2010, though Bunnell Crow's remains were not discovered until May after washing up on the shore of the San Francisco Bay.
Crow could have faced the death penalty had he been convicted.
Crow allegedly retaliated against his wife after she threatened to turn him over to the authorities exposing an elaborate marijuana-growing business at his Prunedale home. He was selling up to $150,000 worth of marijuana a month. Dean Crow, a physician, could have been involved in his son’s growing business as a purveyor of medical marijuana, and investigators found that he deposited money into bank accounts connected to the growing operation. The investigation did not find any indication that the parents were ever involved in illegal marijuana sales.
According to the claim, filed in January by the San Francisco law firm Lipton, Piper & Sganga LLP, Crow’s death resulted because he was “treated with gross negligence by the jail staff and management.”
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss the claim in closed session on March 15, where it can choose to reject it or make the settlement.
If the claim is rejected, the Crows likely will proceed by filing a lawsuit, says a source close to the family. A representative from the district attorney's office declined to comment and a representative of sheriff's office, which oversees the jail, was not immediately available for comment.