A former nurse at the George County jail accepted responsibility Monday for causing the death of an insulin-dependent jail detainee when she failed to provide him with the insulin he needed to survive.
Carmon Sue Brannan, 53, entered an Alford plea Tuesday, meaning she did not admit guilt but agreed there was enough evidence to convict her of manslaughter in the Sept. 24, 2014, death of William Joel Dixon.
The state is recommending a 20-year sentence with 10 years to serve.
District Attorney Tony Lawrence said Brannan failed to administer Dixon the insulin, even though a family member and a police officer had brought it to the jail for him.
Special Judge Richard McKenzie deferred sentencing to June 22. The judge allowed Brannan to remain free on bond pending sentencing.
Brannan was a registered nurse at the jail when she failed to provide “sufficient medical treatment” to Dixon, the indictment says, between Sept. 17 and 24, 2014.
He was found dead in his cell Sept. 24, 2014.
Dixon had been picked up after Lucedale police found him asleep in his car. After he was jailed, one of his relatives called to tell officials he was diabetic.
Over the course of Dixon’s time in the jail, Lawrence said, Brannan tested his blood sugar only once, though experts said a blood-sugar check on an insulin-dependent diabetic should be done at least twice a day.
In addition, Lawrence said, no aid was rendered to Dixon after he was unable to eat for days because he was deprived of his insulin. Lawrence also said there was never even a medical file created for Dixon despite his medical problems.
Brannan, he said, thought Dixon was suffering from drug withdrawal at the time.
Dixon was in jail on two counts of child endangerment and one count each of possession of a controlled substance, DUI other, driving with an expired tag, and driving without insurance.
A George County grand jury later indicted Brannan on the manslaughter charge.
Brannan was one of two nurses who worked at the jail at the time, responsible for trying to provide adequate medical care to a typical inmate population of about 280 state inmates and about 100 county inmates.
Local circuit judges recused themselves from hearing the case because Brannan’s sister is George County Chancery Clerk Cammie Brannan Byrd.
Special Judge Richard McKenzie presided over the plea hearing.