A career criminal in Illinois who has a penchant for swallowing inedible objects has now been sentenced to spend even more time in prison.
Lamont Cathey, a 26-year-old man with more than a dozen felonies to his name, has just received a sentence for three convictions: burglary, aiding or abetting the possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and two counts of identity theft. In 2021, he had stolen a couple of vehicles, including a Maserati belonging to a Google engineer, and then went on a shopping spree with some stolen credit cards. Earlier this month, Judge Aleksandra Gillespie of the Circuit Court of Cook County, where Chicago is located, sentenced Cathey to more than 10 years in prison for those crimes.
As troubling as Cathey’s behavior has been when he is not incarcerated, his behavior while in custody has presented other problems for prison officials, medical teams, and taxpayers alike. During various stays at Cook County Jail, Cathey has ingested several inedible objects, including screws, thumbtacks, leather, needles, a four-inch piece of metal, and even parts of a medical device.
As a result of this strange eating habit, Cathey has had to undergo 20 surgeries to remove the objects and repair the internal damage they caused him. Authorities estimate that these surgeries and follow-up treatments have cost approximately $2 million.
“He’s literally eating the jail,” former Cook County Jail executive director Cara Smith said when the medical expenses first began. “It’s been a crushingly sad and very frustrating case.”
Cathey has been no stranger to law enforcement, even at a young age. As a juvenile, he was arrested more than 12 times but was never convicted on any charges related to those arrests. Now, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Cathey is expected to be paroled in May 2024 and discharged in May 2025. He is currently listed as being on “medical furlough” from Pontiac Correctional Center.
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