Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Major Nancy Evans, the former commander of the Milwaukee County Jail, was charged Monday with felony misconduct in office and obstructing an officer death of Terrill Thomas, an inmate who died of dehydration in 2016, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting.
Evans was charged today along with two other jail staffers. Jail Lt. Kashka Meadors, 40, and correctional officer James Ramsey-Guy, 38, are each charged with neglecting an inmate, a felony offense, the Journal-Sentinel reports, adding that Meadors gave the order to shut off the water and Ramsey-Guy physically cut the water.
Milwaukee’s medical examiner concluded that Thomas died in April 2016 due to “profound dehydration” in a jail run by Sheriff David Clarke. Investigators said jailers shut off the water to the jail cell of Thomas, 38, as a form of punishment for several incidents – including an attempt to flood the cell. Officials said Thomas, who grappled with bipolar disorder, was denied both water and a mattress for seven straight days at the jail.
Meadors gave the order to turn off Thomas’ water after Thomas flooded his cell in the mental health unit. He was transferred to the disciplinary unit and that’s when Meadors ordered Officer Ramsey-Guy to turn off the water to Thomas’ cell until he “calms down.” According to testimony, that action was never logged in any official jail log, or mentioned in any staff briefing, and as a result, Thomas’ water was never turned back on.
Jail policy states that an inmate should have 24/7 access to water in their cell. Thomas went seven days without water in his cell.