35-year-old Mother Dies in Tarrant County Jail

Jun 8th, 2008 | By | Category: In The News, Pretrial Detention, Tarrant County

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11

Ten days into serving her sentence at the Tarrant County Jail, a Fort Worth woman died.

Police say Adrienne Lemons was serving time for unpaid traffic tickets. The 35-year-old was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital on June 13, where she later died. Lemons leaves behind a 3-year-old child.

Lemons’ family said she was not receiving the medication she needed for a serious medical condition.According to her family, Lemons had a staph infection under her left armpit. She was treating the infection with antibiotics.

“According to phone calls with family members, she claims they weren’t giving her the antibiotics,” said Shannon Woodrome, Lemons brother.

Lemons was serving time at low-risk facility until June 11, when her family says the lack of treatment caused her to be suicidal. “She claimed she rather cut her wrists than deal with the pain,” Woodrome said. “Rather than finding out why the pain was so bad, they threw her on a suicide watch.”

Lemons was then transferred to a high risk facility. By June 13, she was rushed by ambulance to JPS Hospital.

“The doctor said the infection just overwhelmed her and there was nothing he could do about it,” said Woodrome.

Lemons brother said he was told she was mopping floors the day she died.

Tarrant County Jail officials say they’re not in charge inmates’ medical care.

“It makes us feel bad,” said Tarrant County Sheriff Terry Grishom. “We’re getting blamed that a jailer didn’t dispense medication, but jailers never dispense medication whatsoever.”

JPS would not comment on this story.

Woman Dies 10 Days Into Jail Sentence, Carol Cavazos. CBS 11, 19 Jun 2008
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8 Comments to “35-year-old Mother Dies in Tarrant County Jail”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It is still going on this day and time. My brother-in-law was arrested and taken to tarrant county approximately 2 weeks ago on a late wednesday evening. He is terminal with cirhrosis of the liver and given one year ot live just a little over a year ago. His wife contacted Tarrant county about his need for medication whereupon she was told to take all of the meds to the Mansfield jail nurse and check them in to her so they would be there because he woukd be transferred there at some point that day and they would dispense to him and her daughter did take them. He did arrive there that day and the meds were there.
    However, he was not given any of his meds for 6 days and was actually transferred back to the Tarrant county jail when his wife finally heard from him and he was totally out of it. She fnally understood he had not been given his meds. She was in extreme fear so I called the jail admin office and they tried to be helpful and told us that he was being seen by the doctor a few hours later and now being housed on the medical floor, but the next day his daughter visited and he did not know who she was.
    Mortified she left and told the officers at the front desk that her dad needed help. NOW. He evidently was transferred to the county hospital that evening but the family was not informed and in fact when various member odf the family called and their pastor over the couple days they were told that he was still at the jail but he wasn’t and in fact this past thursday after we made his bond wednesday evening (because for 2 days prior the bond was paperwork that needed to be processed for another county so we could get a bond was lost?? Right!) morning I called. After forcing them to answer question upon question because their answers didnt add up I was finally told that he was in the county hospital and not at the jail.
    He was actually released to his wife that morning a few hours after my call where upon I picked them up and although he wasn’t himself as I know him we were able to bring him home. I must add here that another sister in law was on the phone to the judges office during this nightmare and they were working behind the scenes as well. I feel that his life will be shortened due to the jails personnel inaction to treat him after we followed their orders but I also learned during all this that no one up there know what the right or left hand is doing at Tarrant or Mansfield jails and they all use the excuse that they oversee just hundreds and thousand of inmates.etc., etc..they could care less about anyones rights, rather the personnel I spoke with preferred to intimidate with rudeness like they had some kind of authority over me which is utter bs.
    Not that it worked with me because it didnt but I can certainly see how it would with many.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am so upset that this woman even had to do time. She wasn’t a criminal. They could have done a payment plan where she was comfortable paying her fines. I am so upset at the system and the lack of medical care we have in our prisons and jails. My daughter who os on probation was sent to jail in [what??] county for 5 days and is on infusion treatments for a disease. She did not get a shower, the nurses did not administer her IV meds right and she did not get the [meds] administered to avoid blood clots. Her IV line is now infected and has to go to the doctor today to have it checked. My daughter kept telling them they were doing it wrong but they did not care. Someone needs to do something about this lack of medical care not to mention the uneducated nurses we have in the prison and jails. For a woman to die in a jail because she was sick just shows that our judicial system is sick and twisted. People need to be fired.

    • admin says:

      We appreciate your comments and agree with you about the lack of good medical care in some of the jails. We’d like to report what you said here, but as these comments have no return addresses, I can’t email you back, and I need your permission to report it and more info as well. For example, what county is this jail in? Please email me at diana@texasjailproject.org

      • Chase says:

        That was my mom, I am 12 now, 1was 3 when that happened. I hate that jail. They took my mom away from me. We should all sign a petition to do something about this

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