Joshua Sesay, above, is grieving the loss of his brother Kare Randall, who died at Two Bridges Regional Jail on April 21. Sesay helped Randall move to Maine earlier this year. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Kare Randall was 25 years old when he first boarded a plane.

His brother Joshua Sesay bought him the ticket earlier this year after Randall was released from the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville. He had been locked up for almost 10 years for an armed robbery when he was a teenager.

Kare Randall Photo courtesy of Joshua Sesay

Sesay, who was living in Rockland at the time, said he wanted to show his brother that the world was bigger than prison, bigger than Texas. He bought Randall fresh seafood. He took him on a ferry to Vinalhaven. They made a music video together in downtown Portland. Sesay introduced Randall to his Maine friends.

But about a month after his arrival, Randall was arrested in Waldo County for criminal trespassing. In the slow-paced and scenic state where Sesay wanted to help him start over, Randall landed in the same unforgiving system that he left behind in Texas.

On April 21, Two Bridges Regional Jail staff found Randall dead of an apparent suicide.

Jail officials said Friday he was in regular inmate housing when he took his life and not under any emergency supervision. They declined to say whether there were any warning signs that Randall was suicidal, citing medical privacy laws.


His family members, meanwhile, say the jail overlooked clear red flags, including suicidal calls and texts to loved ones on jail-supervised phone lines.

“It wasn’t their son, and they probably didn’t care,” his mother, Latoya Earles, said tearfully through a video call.


Randall grew up in Houston, where Earles and many other relatives still live. He had a big, sprawling family, including two sisters on his mother’s side and several more siblings on his father’s.

Earles said Randall was her baby but still “felt like he had to be the big man.” She called him “Papa,” a nickname that his friends still use today.

Family was important to Randall, they said. He wanted to protect and provide for them. But Earles said Randall was pulled away from his family at a very young age. 


Kare Randall and his mother, Latoya Earles Photo courtesy of Joshua Sesay

A spokesperson for the Harris County District Attorney’s office said Randall was one of two people involved in an armed robbery at a gas station in 2015. A person’s car was stolen. Court records show Randall was charged as an adult, even though he was only a teenager at the time.

He was released early on parole in 2023, thrown into a world he couldn’t make sense of.

Many of his friends were dead, locked up somewhere else or had moved on, his brother Sesay said. Social media had changed, phones were different, and it was nearly impossible to find a job in the large city of more than 2 million.

“He felt like he couldn’t fit in,” Earles said. “Like he couldn’t catch up. … That took a toll on my baby.”


Sesay said he struggles to make sense of Randall’s death. They grew up together in Houston, and because they were so close in age – Sesay is 24 – they were often together in school before Randall’s arrest.


Sesay said he moved to Maine in 2019 and fell in love with the state’s slower pace. He thought his brother would appreciate it too.

On Thursday, he scrolled through scores of photos they took together in Maine, showing Randall laughing and smiling.

While talking to a reporter, Sesay frequently paused to call mutual friends who knew Randall, including those the brothers have known since childhood.

One longtime friend who met Randall in middle school, Deionthay Harper, said Randall liked to bring people together. He liked to hype up his friends, and he always kept in touch.

“I still can’t believe the situation that happened,” Harper said. “I know that was not him.”

At first, Sesay said he thought Randall took his life because he didn’t want to go back to prison. When Randall was arrested for criminal trespassing in March, Sesay said his brother was experiencing a mental health crisis.


District Attorney Natasha Irving for Waldo County did not respond to questions about the nature of the trespassing charge. She said Randall was waiting for extradition back to Texas for a pending matter.

Sesay said Randall had missed a check-in with his parole officer.

Now, Sesay thinks his brother’s struggles might’ve been something deeper than the family knew. He is now focused on getting an explanation from the jail.

Sesay said he believes the jail is withholding information from his family that might help them find closure, and that might help prevent more suicides in jail.

He said he was surprised that state officials never announced his brother’s death like other facilities do. The jail didn’t confirm someone had died until a reporter asked Tuesday.

“It just feels like they’re hiding something,” he said.



Correctional administrator James Bailey said Friday he didn’t announce Randall’s death earlier because he wanted to wait for the state to finish investigating.

Bailey said deaths are uncommon at Two Bridges. Since they opened in 2006, Bailey said he was aware of five deaths, including three suicides.

Maine State Police have been investigating Randall’s death since Sunday, while the Maine Department of Corrections is reviewing whether the jail acted in compliance with state standards. Both agencies say these investigations are routine and happen for every in-custody death. They declined to share any updates Friday afternoon.

Bailey said the jail is also conducting an internal review of its mental health policy and whether staff followed that policy leading up to Randall’s death.

The policy calls on the jail to screen for potentially suicidal inmates at intake, and to watch for those who might appear “despondent or disturbed.”


It lays out a point-based system to determine what level of supervision an inmate might need based on their risk level, determined by a mental health care worker.

That supervision can range from staggered 15-minute check-ins while an inmate is separated from the rest of the jail, to constant supervision and revoking items that could be used to harm oneself.

“Predicting the individual risk of self-harm is not a precise process,” the policy reads.

Randall was in the jail’s general population housing unit when he died, Bailey said, and had previously met with a mental health worker. He declined to go into further detail, citing medical privacy laws.

Bailey declined to address concerns from Randall’s loved ones that the jail overlooked warning signs, “other than to say that we have policies and procedures in place that meet federal and state guidelines.”

Randall’s family said Thursday that the young man sent them several messages involving suicidal ideations and that he discussed harming himself on jail calls – all of which are monitored by Two Bridges staff.


His family said they thought he had attempted suicide at the jail once but had been stopped by staff.

And the family is desperate for answers. They wanted to share his story, they said, because they don’t want this to happen to another family.

“I know somebody could have saved him,” Sesay said.

As they wait for the department’s findings, Randall’s family is also waiting to get back his remains. They had raised more than $2,600 on GoFundMe for a funeral service as of Sunday evening.

His body will leave from Boston and follow the same flight that was his first and only.

“I just wanted to show him a different way of life,” Sesay said.

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