Leader Blues

Saturday, September 26, 2009

TOP STORY >> Prisoner dies in lockup

One of three women in the Sherwood jail was found dead Thursday morning after she may have swallowed some controlled substances the night before.

Jamie Flowers, 28, was considered homeless, was found unresponsive in the cell about 6:46 a.m. when jailers tried to wake her. The jailers made frequent checks on the cell during the night and saw nothing out of the ordinary. The other two women in the cell saw and heard nothing.

Flowers was brought in Wednesday by the Arkansas State Police on drug charges.

She would have remained in jail until posting bond or seeing the judge, which was scheduled for Thursday morning. Lt. Cheryl Williams, public information officer for the Sherwood police, said jailers became aware through conversations with the other women in the cell that Flowers had swallowed controlled substances before being jailed.

At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Flowers was taken by ambulance to St. Vincent Medical Center in Sherwood. She was checked, treated and returned to the jail at 11:30 p.m. Jailers checked on her and the other women through the night, according to Williams, and saw nothing amiss.

The jailers, around 6:45 a.m., were bring breakfast to the inmates in the cell. The other two women were already awake and were given their breakfast.

Officer Beth Fletcher said it appeared that Flowers was still asleep under her blanket. The jailer shouted, “Ma’am” and shook Flowers, but she got no response.

She noticed Flowers was not breathing and her skin color was off. Fletcher called the paramedics immediately.

With a MEMS dispatcher on the line, Fletcher and Officer Ross Dale began emergency rescue measures, but Flowers’ arms were already stiff, and Fletcher told the paramedics that rigor mortis might have already started to set in. Flowers was pronounced dead at the jail by paramedics.

Foul play is not suspected. The coroner has not released an official cause of death. “We are all waiting on the toxicology report,” Williams said.

The death was the third one in nine years at the jail. About four years ago, a man hanged himself, and nine years ago another man had a heart attack and died.