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In 2017, Kelly Coltrain was arrested for unpaid parking tickets and locked in a Mineral County cell. She informed the supervising officers that she had a drug dependency that could result in seizures, but they failed to monitor her vitals. Coltrain died in her cell as a result of withdrawal-related symptoms, and was reportedly left alone for six hours before anyone noticed.

Coltrain's family is now suing the Mineral County sheriff department for negligence.


Coltrain reportedly "told police she had a drug dependency with withdrawal symptoms that included seizures." According to correct police protocol, Sergeant Jim Holland should have called a doctor to examine Coltrain once he learned she was prone to seizures, which he did not do.

After she'd been locked up for four hours, Coltrain told deputy Ray Gulcynski that she needed to go to the hospital for medication.

He denied her, reportedly saying:

Unfortunately, since you're DT'ing (referring to the detoxification process), I'm not going to take you over to the hospital right now just to get your fix," Deputy Ray Gulcynski told Coltrain, according to the investigation report. "That's not the way detention works, unfortunately. You are incarcerated with us, so … you don't get to go to the hospital when you want. When we feel that your life is at risk… then you will go.

After three days in the cell, Coltrain began vomiting and having small convulsions. Holland told her to mop up her own vomit, which she tried to do despite being unable to leave her bed:

Sgt. Holland advised he thought Coltrain was just 'lazy' and that she just didn't want to stand up to clean the floor," the report said. "Sgt. Holland advised he just wanted the floor to be cleaned and he didn't care how it got done, just that it got cleaned up.

Not long after that, Coltrain began suffering "repeated convulsions." Security footage shows she stopped moving at 6:26 p.m. She was not checked on again until 12:30am later that night, at which point she was unresponsive.

Through the entire story, Coltrain was a two-minute walk away from a nearby hospital. State investigators determined that "the sheriff's office failed to adhere to certain department policies that might have saved Coltrain's life." Gulcynski was "disciplined" and Holland "took a buy-out with the department."

District attorneys decided not to press charges against the sheriff's department, saying Holland's and Gulcynski's neglect didn't constitute "cruel, oppressive or malicious treatment."


Coltrain's family is suing both for damages and "to press for better jail conditions."


H/T - Jezebel, USA Today

Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

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