This inmate died after being denied water for a week — now three jail staffers are facing charges. An investigation last year revealed that 38-year-old Terrill Thomas died of “profound dehydration” in April 2016, after he was left in solitary confinement for seven days without water.
Thomas was arrested for shooting a man in front of his parent’s house and firing a gun inside a casino. This family says that he had a mental illness.
Prosecutors say that supervisor Kashka Meadors ordered Jail Deputy James Lee Ramsey-Guy to shut off Thomas’ water as punishment for flooding his cell by stuffing his mattress in a toilet. Both staff members were charged with neglecting a resident of a penal facility. Former jail admin Nancy Lee Evans was charged with felony misconduct and misdemeanor obstruction for not preserving surveillance videos of the water being turned off, and allegedly lying to police about what was in the footage.
The staff didn’t turn the water back on because the shutoff was never logged in any official capacity.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm stated, “Our expectation when Mr. Thomas was brought into custody was that he would be kept safe. The allegations set forth in the criminal complaint document [that] did not happen.”