4 St. Bernard Parish Prison correctional officers indicted for inmate’s death

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Nimali Henry (WGNO)

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CHALMETTE. La. (WGNO) – Four correctional officers from St. Bernard Parish Prison have been indicted for violating the civil rights of an inmate in 2014. A grand jury said the officers deliberately ignored serious medical needs of 19-year-old Nimali Henry had which led to her death.

The indictment charges that Captain Andre Dominick, Corporal Timothy Williams, Deputy Debra Becnel and Deputy Lisa Vaccarella each knew that Henry had serious medical conditions and willfully failed to provide her with necessary medical attention.  As a result of the lack of medical attention, Henry died at the St. Bernard Parish Prison on April 1, 2014.

The indictment also charges each of the defendants with making a false statement to the FBI.

Henry was arrested during a domestic dispute after attempting to see her 4-month old daughter.

During Henry’s 10-day stay in parish custody, she was found unresponsive on the floor of her jail cell and later died. Henry suffered from kidney, and congestive heart failure; as well as thyroid disease.

In May 2014, WGNO spoke with Henry’s family who said they repeatedly attempted to tell authorities about Henry’s life-threatening condition.

The civil rights charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and each false statement charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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