Four Cops Charged In Woman’s Death After She Was Denied Access To Blood Disorder Medication

December 14, 2015  |  

Four St. Bernard Parish Prison correction officers have been charged in the death of the Nimali Henry. According to, Henry, who suffered from a rare blood disorder, was denied access to medication for her condition, which resulted in her 2014 death.

On Thursday, December 3 a federal grand jury indicted Captain Andre Dominick, Corporal Timothy Williams, Debra Becnel and Lisa Vaccarella. The group stands accused of civil rights violations and making false statements to the FBI.

According to St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann, they have been placed on indefinite administrative leave. The FBI intervened in the investigation approximately eight months ago during a civil rights lawsuit that was filed by the father of Henry’s daughter against the sheriff’s office. The lawsuit was placed on hold pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. Investigators say that all four officers lied to cover up the role they allegedly played in the young woman’s death.

“I don’t know a lot of the facts that resulted in the indictment today,” Pohlmann said. “I’m hoping to meet with the U.S. Attorney’s Office soon to maybe get briefed up on more of the detailed facts.”

Even relatives of Henry say that they tried to inform authorities of how important it was for the victim to have access to her medication.

“I tried to let them know about how sick she was, and they wouldn’t listen to me,” said the young mother’s 20-year-old sister, Deshawna Henry

According to the Huffington Post, Henry was locked up for 10 days on minor charges—including disturbing the peace, simple battery and unauthorized entry. Bond had been set at $25,000, but her family was unable to put up the money. She was 19 years old and had recently given birth to a baby girl. Relatives say that the altercation began when she was trying to see her daughter, who was four months old at the time.

If convicted, each defendant faces maximum life sentences for the civil rights charges and up to five years for the false statement charges.

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