AP NEWS

Ex-guard hampered probe of inmate death

January 8, 2020 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former guard has pleaded guilty to making false statements in an investigation of a Louisiana jail inmate’s death.

Debra Becnel faces up to five years in prison following her plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans said in a Tuesday news release. She is set for sentencing April 22.

The case involved the 2014 death of a St. Bernard Parish Jail inmate, Nimali Henry, who had a rare blood disorder. Prosecutors say the inmate told Becnel and other officers she could die without medication.

Becnel told investigators she had not been informed of the woman’s medical needs. But she admitted in court Monday that she had been told.

Becnel is the second person to plead guilty in the case. Another former guard, Timothy Williams, who was a corporal at the jail, pleaded guilty in September to one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law. He awaits sentencing.