Woman arrested for murder after prisoner dies following visitation kiss
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Featured Image Credit: Tennessee Department of Correction/Tennessee Department of Correction
A 33-year-old woman has been charged with second-degree murder after a man she visited in prison died shortly after kissing her.
Rachel Dollard went to the Turney Center Industrial Complex prison in Only, Tennessee to visit inmate Joshua Brown in February, while Brown was serving an 11-year sentence on drug related charges.
The pair were seen kissing during their visitation and Brown later died at a local hospital.
In a statement published on Tuesday (16 August), the Tennessee Department of Correction claimed Dollard was 'observed passing drugs' to Brown when they exchanged their kiss.
Authorities said the inmate swallowed a balloon pellet containing half an ounce of methamphetamine, which is thought to have led to a fatal overdose.
Special agents with the Tennessee Department of Correction special agents and officers fro the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department arrested Dollard this weekend on a warrant from a sealed indictment in Hickman County.
She is now being held at the Hickman County Jail for second-degree murder and introduction of contraband into a penal facility.
David Imhof, Director of the TDOC’s Office of Investigations and Conduct, said Brown's death points to 'the real dangers of introducing contraband into prisons and the consequences that follow'.
“Our agency will pursue prosecution against any individual who threatens the safety and security of our staff, the men and women in our custody, and our facilities," he said.
Brown's sentence was set to come to an end in 2029. In a bid to prevent contraband being taken into prisons, the Tennessee Department of Corrections employs a variety of measures including pat searches, vehicle and cell searches, and drug detection dogs.
The state is also in the process of installing body scanners in all of its facilities.
A Hickman County Circuit Court clerk told Law&Crime Dollard has no attorney of record. Second-degree murder typically relates to incidents considered to have been conducted with malicious intent, but that are not thought to have been premeditated.
In Tennessee, second-degree murder can be punishable by 15-60 years in prison. The punishment for second-degree murder is typically less severe than that for first-degree murder, which is when a killing is considered deliberated and premeditated. Capital punishment cannot be handed down as a sentence for a second-degree murder conviction.
The Tennessee Department of Correction urges anyone with information about potential security concerns to call its 24-hour anonymous tip line at 1-844-TDC-FIND (1-844-832-3463).
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