Stephen Slevin, 59, was booked into a New Mexico jail after being suspected of drunk driving. After being booked into jail in 2005, he was never prosecuted in the court system or convicted of the reported crime.
Police arrested Slevin and believed that he had stolen a vehicle. Slevin claims that a friend loaned him the car so that he could drive across the country. While being detained in the local jail, Slevin was placed in a padded cell after authorities believed that he looked depressed. Three days later, he was transported to a prison near the US Mexico border and placed in solitary confinement where he was forgotten about.
One source reports that his toenails grew so long that they began to curl under his feet. According to the source, Slevin had to pull out one of his own teeth because he was not allowed to leave his prison cell. His lawyer, Matthew Coyte, released a statement saying that Slevin experienced severe confusion and disorientation from the prolonged isolation.
Prison authorities have accepted a $15.5 million dollar settlement. Matthew Coyte responded to the settlement saying, ''His mental health has been severely compromised from the time he was in that facility. No amount of money will bring back what they took away from him but it's nice to be able to get him some money so he can improve where he is in life and move on.'' It is unclear what plans Slevin has for the money but he will no longer need to drive someone else’s car.