She is Her Brother’s Keeper | The Brutal Story of Chad Roadiger’s Last Moments

She is her brother's keeper. The Brutal Story of Chad Roadiger's last moments

Though I've never seen Leah in person, I know that she is a beautiful human being. If you ever get the chance to speak to her, then you would know her beauty as well. Our hearts can plainly see those things that our eyes cannot. Thus, when I listened to, and then read, her story over the phone regarding her brother Chad's final days upon this earth, I knew that Leah not only walks with beauty but also with many other virtues. She is clever, honest, courageous, kind, nurturing, dedicated, and determined.

Leah is also still grieving. If you ask her how she's holding up, she'll invariably answer," Day by day." Nonetheless, behind all that bravery and grief, veiled by her innate southern etiquette, is anger; it’s a righteous Texas anger that wants to know...who killed her brother.

Leah with her brother Chad Roadiger

Chad Roadiger, Leah's older brother by six years, was housed at Dooly State Correctional Facility on July 3, 2023, when he was, reportedly, attacked by another inmate. Chad received repeated blunt force trauma to his head as well as strangulation, presumably in the form of a choke hold while being beaten. He was taken to Navicent Medical Center in Macon and put on life support. Doctors determined that Chad was in a persistent vegetative state. He fought to stay alive, waiting for his younger sister to come see him. Leah made that fourteen14-hour journey multiple times from Texas to Georgia to see her brother; her last visit was two weeks before he passed. And as any loving sister would, Leah wanted to bring Chad home to die; and though she tried, Chad was denied a medical reprieve early release. Thus, in a hospital far from home, guarded by more security than he'd known his whole time at Dooly C.F., Chad Roadiger took his last breath on October 27, 2023, one day before he was to be transferred to a long-term care facility.

Subsequently, with no assist from Georgia Department of Corrections, Leah brought Chad back to Texas. His ashes now sit in a place of honor in her home. Chad is finally free from GDC, and Leah remains her brother's keeper.

Chad Roadiger at Navicent Medical Center in Macon On Life Support 2

Albeit, Leah vehemently asserts that Chad is not at rest. She often awakes in the middle of the night, soaked in sweat from nightmares about her brother's attack. "Sometimes." she says, "I think my brother is trying to tell me who his killer is."

Leah and her attorney have both spoken with the National Incarceration Association, and are working together to get answers to her questions. As we all know, prison walls are thick, in more ways than one. It is months later, and Leah is still receiving little to no response from the Dooly County District Attorney, whom she calls weekly seeking information. This is because the Dooly DA’s Office itself is not being fully apprised of the goings-on at Dooly State Correctional Facility. Leah states, as of yet, a full disclosure of the Incident Report on Chad's attack has not been provided to the Dooly DA’s Office by Warden Sampson.

Nevertheless, Leah is adamant in her resolve. She boldly asserts, “Of course I'm loud, I'm from Texas." It is obvious that Leah will not stop until there is justice for her brother. Perhaps, not even then. For one thing is certain, Leah is now in the know. She knows that things with GDC are out of control; that gangs run Georgia prisons. She knows the prisons are overpopulated and understaffed. She knows that prisons would be safer if gang-affiliated inmates were housed in separate facilities from nonaffiliated inmates. She also knows that there is little to no prison oversight in the GDC. She wants things to change... so that what happened to her brother doesn't continue to happen to other unfortunate individuals or their families.

Indeed, we can help Leah and others like her. The violence and death's still rage on in GDC prisons. Let's join our minds and hearts and voices together for those in need of support. We are stronger and louder together than we are alone. No one should be alone in matters of this sort. Our hopes, our prayers, our words of encouragement and our empathy can go a long way in solving those matters which seem insoluble.

Written by NIA Associate Editor Henry Schultz

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