AUGUSTA, Maine. (WABI) Paula Gagnon and her twin brother, Paul, lost their brother when they were teenagers.
"I kept thinking, 'oh my gosh, this can't happen to my parents again and I can't lose the only brother I have left'," says Gagnon.
Paula and her parents have been making daily trips to Maine Medical Center where her brother, Paul, is slowly recovering after police say he was beaten by his cell mate, 21-year-old Elijah Ashley.
"Paul got behind on child support and went into to jail on November 14. Saturday, November 18, is when we got the phone call that he was found unconscious," says Gagnon.
According to court documents, correction officers checked on the two of them around 3am, saying Gagnon was snoring loudly with his head covered by a blanket and offered to move Ashley, who accepted. They checked on Gagnon again to check his blood sugar levels because he is diabetic and discovered he was badly injured. Documents saying the doctors weren't sure if he was going to survive.
"When we walked into the room he had a neck brace on, he was unconscious and had a breathing tube, major trauma to his head, face, arms, neck," says Paula Gagnon.
Ashley told investigators Gagnon did this to himself although evidence leads them to believe otherwise. Ashley was being held on charges involving criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.
Sheriff Ken Mason says minimum and medium security inmates are housed together and that's what they were classified.
"Once we started the investigation and through interviews and forensic science then you can see the blood," says Mason.
Mason says he feels for the family and hopes this opens up a bigger conversation about the justice system.
"I myself, I kind of have a difficult time figuring out why an individual is in jail in regards to a civil violation," says Mason.
Ashley is charged with aggravated assault and his bail is $150,000.