Guards unlikely to be charged in jail death

Guards unlikely to be charged in jail death »Play Video
Michael Saffioti
EVERETT, Wash. -- Rose Saffioti's 22-year-old son died in a Snohomish county jail cell in July of what she believes was a severe allergic reaction.

Despite witness testimony that jail guards mocked the dying man, on Wednesday the Sheriff's Office announced it would not recommend charges against the guards or staff.

Michael Saffioti had run-ins with the law over marijuana and needed to turn himself in last July after missing a court date. Rose admits her son did wrong, but she said he knew it and wanted to serve his time as he had before.

And in those times, Rose made it clear to the authorities that Michael is allergic to milk.

"They have a huge medical chart. Michael was transported for an allergic reaction before from that unit," Saffioti said.

Through multiple meetings with detectives, she learned Michael was given oatmeal that may have contained milk -- specifically against the medical alerts.

"He got up, got breakfast, needed to use the inhaler twice, kept calling for medical," she said. Michael died that morning.

While the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office declined to suggest filing criminal charges to the local prosecutor, an internal review will follow.

Saffioti wants changes and some sense of justice. She believes something in the system failed her son.

"It's your responsibility to take care of the basic human needs of someone who's incarcerated and can't help themselves," she said.

The Snohomish County Sherriff's Office did not respond to calls or emails regarding the case. They issued a release saying an internal investigation is still pending. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner said Michael died bronchial asthma.