Lexington police investigate death at Fayette jail

Cause of death undetermined

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comJuly 2, 2011 

Lexington police are investigating the case of a Fayette County Detention Center inmate who died June 25 after being taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

Anthony Dwayne Davis, 26, of Lexington was found unresponsive in a cell. A Fayette County coroner's report said no foul play was suspected.

Police went to the hospital and "processed the scene" at the jail in the hours after Davis died and are waiting for autopsy reports and toxicology results, Roberts said.

The cause of death has not been determined.

Davis' mother, Janet Davis, told the Herald-Leader that her son had atrial flutter, an abnormal heart rhythm, making it important for him to take medicine twice a day, but she said she didn't think he had been receiving the medicine in the jail. Janet Davis has said she begged jail officials to act sooner in getting him treatment.

Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason said Friday that the county coroner's office "has come out and picked up the records to take a look and see if there's an issue."

"They have not found anything that I'm aware of," Mason said.

Officials at the coroner's office did not return a phone call Friday seeking comment.

Davis was in the jail's medical unit when an ambulance was called, Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the Lexington Mayor Jim Gray's office, has previously said.

Straub has said there is "a detailed record of frequent medical checks" on Davis "leading up to the time the ambulance was called."

"He was in various stages of evaluation the whole time he was at the jail," Mason said Friday.

Davis was arrested June 18 for first-degree wanton endangerment and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked into the jail June 19.

Last year, Dean Ferguson, 54, who was being held at the jail, also died after being taken to UK Hospital.

Ferguson was serving time after being convicted of driving under the influence. He died of a pulmonary embolism.

Administrators of Ferguson's estate have sued the Urban County Government and others, contending that Ferguson was a victim of "egregious and unjustifiable treatment."

In March, the licenses of two nurses employed by Correctional Medical Services, a Missouri-based company that contracts with the Fayette County jail to provide inmate medical services, were suspended for three years by the Kentucky Board of Nursing. The suspensions were stayed with the condition that the nurses receive training and supervision.

Reach Valarie Honeycutt Spears at (859) 231-3409 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3409.

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